Josh Petrin has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Saskatoon mother Lorry Santos.
Petrin was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.
During the verdict, the now-convicted killer appeared to be blindsided by as the trial judge delivered it in a Saskatoon courtroom on Thursday morning.
Petrin is the third and final co-accused to be sentenced for the death of 34-year-old Santos, who was shot dead in her home on Sept. 12, 2012.
“We’re looking forward to just moving ahead and putting this all behind us,” said Lindsay Schreiner, Santos’ sister.
During the trial, court heard Petrin ordered a hit against a former gang member who left the Alberta-based street gang known as the White Boy Posse without notice.
Through a series of miscommunication, two men were sent to the wrong address – killing Santos as a result.
“She impacted everyone greatly and she was always just so happy and never let anything let her down,” Schreiner said.
“It’s really unfortunate that this mistake lead to her death, no one deserves this.”
That fateful morning, court heard that instead of “I love you,” the last three words Santos’ children heard from the mother was “oh my god” as she bled to death and they tried to save her.
A handful of victim impact statements were submitted to the judge in court.
“I’m half of a person because of this crime,” was read on behalf of Santos’ husband, Ferdinand Santos.
Schreiner also addressed Petrin during her impact statement saying “your decision-making led to the death of a beautiful life.”
When asked by the judge if Petrin had anything he wanted to say, he stood and said he wished he had maybe told his side of the story.
Speaking for approximately two minutes, he told the judge “I wasn’t expecting what happened today to be honest with you” and said his heart goes out to the Santos family for the terrible thing that happened.
“I guess I’d say he was surprised by the verdict ultimately he thought that the evidence was shaky enough an acquittal,” said Petrin’s lawyer, Brian Pfefferle outside of court.
By mid-afternoon on Thursday, Petrin already filed an appeal in the ruling.
In a 77-page ruling by the judge, it states that evidence was overwhelming as to Petrin’s involvement in the conspiracy and his guilt in the murder proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Evidence the Crown credits to law enforcement after an eight-week long investigation linked Petrin to the crime as well as key witnesses in the case.
“You heard many of them talk about how they were afraid about the consequences, you heard the evidence of how people who betrayed the gang could get killed or seriously hurt,” senior Crown prosectuor Matthew Miazga said.
“Despite that many of these people came forward and I believe told the truth in court about what happened.”
Sentenced to life in prison for Santos’ murder and 12 years to be concurrently served for conspiracy – Petrin will not be eligible for parole until 2037.