Woman sentenced to life in fatal Muskoday First Nation domestic dispute
A Saskatchewan woman who fatally stabbed her fiance with a kitchen knife during a domestic dispute sobbed openly today as she was sentenced to life in prison.
Robin Laura Ermine, 30, was found guilty earlier this week of second-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old Evan Bear.
The two from the Muskoday First Nation were fighting in their home in February 2015 when Ermine struck out at Bear and severed a major artery.
Life in prison is mandatory in a murder conviction, but the judge ruled Ermine will be eligible for parole in 10 years — the shortest period allowed under the law.
The jury declined to make a recommendation on her parole.
Given the chance to speak before the sentence was imposed in Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench, Ermine expressed remorse for her crime.
“I just want to start off by saying I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” she said Friday. “There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.”
Ermine apologized for the pain and hurt she has caused both Bear’s family and her own. She also expressed regret for leaving the home before the ambulance arrived, but said she did so because she knew paramedics would not enter while the perpetrator was still inside.
“Every day I think about me leaving the scene,” she said. “I should have stayed right by his side … I wish I could bring him back.”
Justice Brian Scherman said he believed Ermine’s remorse to be genuine and noted that she has remained sober since the murder. He suggested that improves her chances at rehabilitation.
“She hasn’t had a drink since that night,” Scherman said. “I think that’s significant.”
Ermine shared hugs with family members before being shackled and taken into custody by deputy sheriffs.
Moments after the hearing, tensions between the families of Bear and Ermine boiled over in the hall outside the courtroom. Ermine’s mother hotly criticized media coverage of the trial and accused Bear of causing Ermine to miscarry earlier in their relationship, something Ermine testified to during her trial.
“He killed his baby,” Ermine’s mother announced loudly. “He’ll never hurt anyone again.”
“How can you be so hateful?” a member of Bear’s family responded.
Crown prosecutor Jeff Lubyk said the Crown is satisfied with the 10-year period before parole eligibility.
During the trial, court heard that Ermine and Bear had argued throughout the day of his death, The fighting escalated and became more physical after they spent the night drinking with Ermine’s stepsister.
Ermine testified that Bear had grabbed her by the throat, choking her, and the defence argued she acted in self-defence. The Crown maintained it was a use of unreasonable force.
© 2017 The Canadian Press