Parents of murdered grocery clerk give emotional impact statement
The parents of Clemence Beaulieu-Patry delivered an emotional speech to the court Wednesday, saying her vicious murder has left them emotionally, physically and financially ruined.
Beaulieu-Patry, 20, was stabbed to death in April 2016 inside the Montreal North Maxi grocery store where she worked.
Last Friday, a jury convicted her former classmate Randy Tshilumba of first-degree murder, rejecting his defence that he was not criminally responsible due to a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
In court Wednesday Nathalie Beaulieu and Luc Patr, told the judge and Tshilumba they have trouble sleeping and haven't worked since their daughter was murdered.
"You were ripped from us," they said in their statement as they broke down in tears. Their daughter's photo was projected on a screen in the courtroom.
They also described their daughter their as a luminous, loving and peaceful young woman whose life was stolen.
Her parents were unable to express their emotions in the courtroom while the jury was hearing the case, though they attended every day of the trial.
Calling the process traumatizing, they also said that the verdict brought them some peace.
Crown prosecutor Catherine Perreault said allowing family and friends to speak at a murder trial is a necessary step.
"They have to assist and they are not allowed to speak or to express either how they felt about the crime, or it's the same for the family in a murder case," said Perreault.
Beaulieu-Patry’s friends also delivered statements, saying they feel they could still be victimized by Tshilumba if he ever gets out, adding that since the murder, they have felt afraid to go out alone or at night.
"My self-confidence was shattered that night on April 10, 2016. Overnight, I began to fear walking alone at night," said a friend.
During the case, Tshilumba testified that he was convinced Beaulieu-Patry and her friends were plotting to kill him, so he stabbed her first.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Helene Di Salvo formally sentenced Tshilumba Wednesday afternoon to life in prison with no chance of parole before 25 years.
"If in 25 years we're still alive, we'll be there to oppose his bail," said Beaulieu and Patry.
The defence has asked that Tshilumba serve his sentence at the Pinel Psychiatric Institute, but the judge said that will be up to Correctional Service Canada.
Tshilumba has not yet said if he will appeal the verdict.