A packed courtroom sat in a silence broken only by some muffled sobs as
the gruesome details of Paula Gallant’s murder were told publicly for
the first time yesterday.

Jason MacRae, 37, was to appear at Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax
to set a date for trial on a charge of first-degree murder in his
wife’s death, but instead pleaded guilty to the lesser offence.

“The fact that Mr. MacRae maintained his guise of innocence for almost
five years tells this court that he does lack, to some degree, a
conscience,” Justice Kevin Coady said in rendering the automatic
lifetime sentence.

The agreed statement of facts read into the court record said police
got a break in the case after MacRae confessed in detail how he killed
his wife to an undercover RCMP officer posing as a member of a crime
syndicate. The two met in 2009.

On the afternoon of Dec. 27, 2005, MacRae and his wife were arguing
over several “minor issues” inside their Timberlea home, including a
$700 gambling debt he incurred.

Gallant was later on the computer when MacRae struck her with a
two-by-four in the back of the head. With both hands he then strangled
her and wrapped plastic wrap around her head.

MacRae remembers hearing his daughter crying on the baby monitor as he did it.

After going upstairs to feed her, MacRae left the one-year-old in the
high chair as he shoved Gallant’s body through a basement window and
into the trunk of her Chevrolet Cavalier. He then drove and left the
car at the school where she taught Grade 3.

Justice Coady said MacRae was unable to control his anger in the face of normal and usual dialogue.

“It is he who has failed,” Coady proclaimed.