It was with a mix of sadness, gratitude and bitterness that Yasmin Ashareh’s family watched a judge sentence William Imona-Russel to a mandatory life sentence yesterday.
While thankful a jury had convicted him of first-degree murder less than 24 hours earlier, family members still struggled to understand why he had been free on bail when he stabbed her to death with scissors early July 9, 2006, before stuffing her body into a hockey bag and leaving it outside.
They also question why “the system” bent over backwards for someone “who never contributed to this country” and to ensure he got a fair trial, allowed him four years of filing “one appeal after the other” at taxpayer expense.
He “believes (the) Canadian justice system is (a) joke,” said Asha Ashareh, Yasmin’s mother, while reading her victim-impact statement.
Suad Ashareh described her younger sister Yasmin as a kind, caring young woman of 20 who had worked an eight-hour shift in a northwest Toronto grocery store before returning to the townhouse unit where she had just rented a room across from Imona-Russel.
“Your evilness did not overshadow our beautiful, intelligent and inspiring sister,” she said, looking up to glare at Imona-Russel.
He becomes eligible to apply for parole in 2031. He can apply for early release under the faint-hope clause after 15 years in custody.
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