Guilty verdict for O’Hagan in first-degree murder trial
Watch above: Randy O’Hagan guilty of the 2012 murder of Lorry Santos
SASKATOON – A judge has found Randy O’Hagan guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Lorry Santos in September 2012.
Santos, a mother of four, was killed on the morning of Sept. 12, 2012 when O’Hagan targeted the wrong house after being ordered to kill a former White Boy Posse gang member.
“This murder was planned and deliberate,” stated Justice Ronald Mills in handing down his verdict, calling O’Hagan’s actions “drug-fueled stupidity.”
Mills said the evidence was “overwhelming” against O’Hagan as he sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
O’Hagan appeared non-reactive as the verdict was read. His only response in court was a nod to his brother Evan O’Hagan, who walked in once court proceedings were underway.
Court heard three heartbreaking victim impact statements from family and friends describing the worst day of their lives when Lorry Santos was killed in cold blood as she peered through the front window to see who had rung the doorbell.
“She was my best friend, we talked every day,” said Lindsay Schreiner, Lorry Santos sister. “To this day [the children] don’t like opening windows and hesitate when someone rings the doorbell.”
During the trial, court heard from Ferdinand Santos, the husband of Lorry Santos.
He testified that on the morning of Sept. 12, 2012, he heard a series of gunshots, a pause, followed by more gunshots as he stood in the master bedroom bathroom of their Westview neighbourhood home.
Ferdinand testified he found Lorry, who moments before was playing with their newborn baby, lying in the hallway in the arms of their youngest daughter as their oldest daughter called 9-1-1.
That was the last time Ferdinand saw his wife alive.
Santos was pronounced dead at 6:54 a.m. at Royal University Hospital as a result of a single gunshot wound after the bullet went through both lungs, her heart and tore her aorta leading to excessive blood loss.
“He will never hear his mom say ‘I love you’,” said Schreiner on the stand Thursday, referring to Santos’ youngest child who is now two years old.
A friend of the family read Ferdinand Santos’ statement on his behalf.
“What was stolen was my love, my best friend, my entire world. I’m half a person because of this crime.”
Justice Mills turned to the family and shared his condolences, then addressed O’Hagan.
“I have no concern for you and your redemption.”
When given the opportunity to speak, O’Hagan declined and was led away as his brother said “I love you.”
Outside court, the Santos family said justice was served and O’Hagan’s sentence was very fitting.
“My sister was a beautiful person in and out and I think Randy O’Hagan got the sentence that he deserved,” said Schreiner.
“We’ll never forget want happened and she is never far from our thoughts, there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think about her.”
Inside the court house, Evan O’Hagan wept and told Global News his brother was innocent. Outside, O’Hagan told the media that watching his brother get 25 years was horrible.
“He’s a good guy, he loves everybody. I don’t understand why this happened, I won’t. They don’t have any evidence they just went on he said/she said,” said Evan O’Hagan.
In delivering his guilty verdict, the judge called the evidence in this case “overwhelming”
“I think the comment about the overwhelming evidence is a reflection on all the work that was done to build this case by police as well as they individuals who came forward and had the courage to testify in court under difficult circumstances for many of them,” said Senior Crown Prosecutor Matthew Miazga.
O’Hagan also faces two other first-degree murder charges stemming out of Alberta.
He is charged in the first-degree murder of Bryan Gower, 35, whose body was found on a rural road near Kitscoty, Alta. on Sept. 25, 2012. O’Hagan’s preliminary hearing for this charge is scheduled for July 14.
O’Hagan is also charged in the first-degree murder of 54-year-old Robert John Roth Sr. of Lloydminster, whose partial remains were found near Ranfurly, Alta. on Oct. 20, 2012. The victim’s severed head was found in Edmonton on Oct. 25, 2012.