Vernon Macumber gave his girlfriend an ultimatum: Pick me, or your daughter. Everyone knows who Penny Boudreau chose.
That’s why the Bridgewater mom strangled 12-year-old Karissa with a length of twine from her trunk last Jan. 27 — then claimed she was missing, and made tearful public pleas for her return.
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On Friday, the 34-year-old admitted to second-degree murder, and got a life sentence for the unimaginable crime.
“Boudreau said she would do anything for Vernon and the thought of losing him was harder than the thought of losing her daughter,” read an agreed statement of facts.
Boudreau cried and apologized in Bridgewater court Friday. But her desire to avoid getting caught, not her guilt, was her undoing. Undercover officers posed as crime bosses, claiming they could destroy any evidence so long as she told them what she’d done.
Boudreau had been thinking about killing her daughter for days. On Jan. 27, 2008, she took Karissa on a long drive; they argued, and she left the girl, alive, in the car while she went into a local Sobeys. Boudreau called Macumber and told him Karissa had gone missing. Then she came back to the car, grabbed twine from the trunk, drove to a secluded spot, and killed her own child.
Karissa’s last, frightened words: “Mommy, don’t.”
Boudreau told investigators she “did what she had to do”; that she couldn’t let Karissa go free because she’d tell people what a horrible mom she was.
Boudreau’s parole eligibility was set at 20 years, although she could apply under the faint-hope clause for parole at 15.
Crown attorney Denise Smith praised investigators for their “ingenuity” in getting her to confess.
“The child was simply an inconvenience; that was even more shocking. That has affected us all, and has motivated us to do the very best work we could.”
It’s unclear where Boudreau will serve her sentence. Correctional Service of Canada spokesman Andre Veniot said if any new prisoner’s safety is considered to be at risk, that person could be placed in higher security, or in segregation. The closest women's prison is Nova Institution in Truro, which has all three levels of security.