Choose Your City
Change City

Brother of teen murdered on New Year's Day blames self for not hearing cries

TORONTO - Stefanie Rengel's mother bit her lip and took deep breaths as she faced the courtroom Monday, but the tears kept coming.

TORONTO - Stefanie Rengel's mother bit her lip and took deep breaths as she faced the courtroom Monday, but the tears kept coming.

In an emotional victim impact statement, Patricia Hung said she is constantly afraid of spiralling into depression and cannot find peace since her 14-year-old daughter was stabbed to death on New Year's Day 2008. Rengel's relatives struggled to put their feelings into words at the sentencing hearing for the 17-year-old girl convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying.

Hung looked directly at the girl, known only as M.T., as she described the rage she battled every day.

"I want inner peace, which is believed to come from forgiveness, but I am unable to forgive someone who has shown no remorse," she said.

The Crown successfully argued that M.T., driven by jealousy, had used sexual blackmail against her boyfriend to push him into killing Rengel. The Crown is seeking an adult sentence for M.T.

Hung said M.T.'s response to the death of her daughter, a girl she had never met, was the strongest indicator of her character.

"She asked (D.B.) to re-enact the crime, then have a little sex and then call her mummy for a celebratory latte. This is the most revealing glimpse into who she is and the danger she poses," said Hung in biting tones.

Hung said she has to stop herself from playing back fond memories of her daughter for fear of slipping into depression.

"Knowing that I did not do enough to protect Stefanie from these monsters eats at my sanity every waking moment," she said.

Hung said her other children and responsibilities push her to keep life as normal as possible.

Rengel's younger brother told the court he never stops thinking about the pain his sister must have felt as she was stabbed six times and left to die.

"I blame myself for not going outside, not hearing her cry or calling for help," he said as tears ran down his face.

"Why didn't I look out and see her dying in the snow? I could have told her I loved her and that everything was going to be fine."

The 13-year-old said although he starts high school in the fall, he didn't know if he would make friends because he no longer trusted anyone.

"The people who did this should have to remember what they did for the rest of their lives," he said. "They took my awesome big sister away and they made so many people suffer."

Rengel's father was unable to read his statement. Instead he sobbed with his hand held up to his eyes as his best friend read out what he had written.

"Nobody knows the anger and hatred I have for the people who took Stefanie away from our family," he wrote. "Our lives are changed forever; birthdays, Christmas and New Year's will never be the same."

Rengel's maternal grandmother, Mary Fraser, spoke about her granddaughter in soft, slow tones.

She acknowledged the suffering experienced by M.T.'s family but lashed out at the teen, calling her narcissistic with a "so what?" attitude.

"She has managed, somehow, to reach the age of 17 without the slightest regard for the intrinsic value of human life," said Fraser.

"Her coldness is frightening."

The hearing adjourned after the statements were made because defence lawyer Marshall Sack suffered a back injury and was not present. The proceedings resume Tuesday.

If M.T. is sentenced as an adult she faces automatic life imprisonment with no eligibility for parole for five to seven years.

If she is sentenced as a youth, as the defence wants, she will face 10 years in custody, six served in jail and four served in the community under supervision.

You Might Also Like