A teenage girl with a “capacity for manipulation” and a “lack of empathy” who waged a relentless campaign to have her 14-year-old perceived romantic rival killed was sentenced yesterday to life in prison for the “malevolent” crime.

Previously identified only as M.T. because she was just shy of her 16th birthday at the time of the murder, her adult sentence for first-degree murder means Melissa Todorovic can now be named.

At her behest, Todorovic’s then 17-year-old boyfriend lured Stefanie Rengel from Rengel’s home on New Year’s Day 2008. The boyfriend, known only as D.B., has pleaded guilty to stabbing Rengel six times and leaving her to die in a snowbank.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer said it was a “horrific” crime committed “for reasons that are still unfathomable,” and the facts of the case are unprecedented.

Defence lawyer Marshall Sack had maintained Todorovic was less culpable than D.B. because he was the one who actually stabbed Rengel, but Nordheimer disagreed.

“Put simply, the puppet master is not less blameworthy than the puppet,” he told the court.

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