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Derek Saretzky guilty of killing Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, father and senior

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WATCH: Derek Saretzky has been found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, her father Terry Blanchette, and Hanne Meketech. Nancy Hixt reports – Jun 28, 2017

WARNING: This story contains disturbing, graphic content. Discretion is advised.

Derek Saretzky has been found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the September 2015 deaths of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, her father Terry Blanchette, 27, and 69-year-old Hanne Meketech.

He was also convicted of causing an indignity to Hailey’s body.

It took jurors just three hours to reach the verdicts.

READ MORE: Emotional outburst at Derek Saretzky trial after judge denies jury’s request to remain group of 14

Inside the courtroom, a friend of Meketech cried as she heard the verdicts read.

Patrick Edgerton, defence lawyer for Saretzky, noted the impact on the jurors and everyone involved in the case.

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“This has been a tough process for everyone involved — from the Blanchette and Saretzky families, the people the community in the Crowsnest Pass, to the judge, the jury, the court staff…” he said.

WATCH BELOW: Defence lawyer Patrick Edgerton speaks after guilty verdicts in Derek Saretzky trial

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Defence lawyer Patrick Edgerton speaks after guilty verdicts in Derek Saretzky trial – Jun 28, 2017

Edgerton said he hopes the jurors can now find closure after performing their civic duty.

“Everybody deserves a fair trial, everyone is entitled to a jury of their peers for these offences, and Mr. Saretzky is no exception,” Edgerton said.

Saretzky receives automatic life sentence

Saretzky, 24, will receive an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.

 

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What still needs to be argued is the possibility of consecutive sentencing for each count of murder he was convicted on, as well as sentencing on the indignity charge. The jury unanimously recommended consecutive sentencing for parole ineligibility for the three counts of first-degree murder.

WATCH BELOW: ‘Verdict is for the victims’: RCMP insp. Derek Williams thanks investigators, Crown for work during Saretzky trial

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‘Verdict is for the victims’: RCMP Insp. Derek Williams thanks investigators, Crown for support during Saretzky trial – Jun 28, 2017

Saretzky faces up to 75 years before he’s eligible for parole for the murders, plus any extra time for causing the indignity to Hailey’s body.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning, beginning with victim impact statements. Eight are expected to be read into court.

Crown prosecutor Photini Papadatou said she expects the Blanchette family to be present.

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Victims were found dead in September 2015

All three victims were killed in September 2015 in Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass.

 

First, Meketech was found in her mobile home in the community of Coleman on Sept. 9, 2015.

Five days later, Blanchette was found dead in his Blairmore home. His throat had been cut.

Watch below from June 19: Aunt testifies Derek Saretzky told her he’d done ‘something really bad’

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Aunt testifies Derek Saretzky told her he’d done ‘something really bad’ – Jun 19, 2017

Police found blood smears throughout the home and drag marks indicating he was attacked in his bedroom then dragged to the bathroom.

Investigators found blood on a doll inside of Hailey’s crib. She was nowhere to be found.

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READ MORE: Derek Saretzky trial – Accused murderer’s father says ‘he told me she was in heaven’

An Amber Alert was issued and the entire nation held out hope she would be found alive.

Three videotaped confessions by Saretzky with police were shown in court during the trial, including a re-enactment at the rural campsite where the remains of two-year-old Hailey were found.

Watch below from June 15: Derek Saretzky video confession played at triple-murder trial

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First of 3 Derek Saretzky video confessions played at triple-murder trial – Jun 15, 2017

It was Saretzky’s cousin who first alerted police to suspicious activity at the site, known to the family as “the ranch.”

Police first arrived at the campsite Sept. 15, 2015. The firepit was still smouldering.

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READ MORE: Renewed calls for juror support ahead of Derek Saretzky’s triple murder trial

Officers spent three days sifting through the ashes and recovered numerous charred remains. No DNA could be recovered from the bones, but an expert said they belonged to a child aged two to four years.

A pot found on a nearby picnic table had several red stains and was swabbed for DNA. According to an agreed statement of facts, the DNA came back as a match to Hailey.

Watch below from June 21: Hailey’s mom describes relationships with Blanchette, Saretkzy

Click to play video: 'Derek Saretzky triple-murder trial: Hailey’s mom describes relationships with Blanchette, Saretkzy' Derek Saretzky triple-murder trial: Hailey’s mom describes relationships with Blanchette, Saretkzy
Derek Saretzky triple-murder trial: Hailey’s mom describes relationships with Blanchette, Saretkzy – Jun 21, 2017

Multiple weapons were also seized and photographed, including a hatchet, a utility knife or box-cutter, a crowbar, a hammer and axes.

In an interview with Staff Sgt. Mike McCauley, the officer asked, “Is she alive Derek or is she dead? Look at me. Is she alive?”

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“She’s not alive,” Saretzky answered.

The officer pushed Saretzky to tell him where Hailey was located, as the Amber Alert continued.

“Derek, where is she?” McCauley asked.

“The devil made me turn her into ashes,” Saretzky finally said.

 

READ MORE: Derek Saretzky triple-murder trial – Hailey’s mom describes relationships with Blanchette, Saretkzy

In the re-enactment video, Saretzky is seen directing police to the campsite.

When they arrive, his hands are handcuffed in front of him and he took officers through graphic and disturbing details of how he killed Hailey, dismembered her and cannibalized her—before throwing her body into the raging fire.

Numerous RCMP officers were in court for the verdicts, including the two primary investigators and the head of the serious crimes unit, insp. Derek Williams.

WATCH BELOW: RCMP insp. Derek Williams speaks about dedication of investigators during tragic Derek Saretzky case

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RCMP Insp. Derek Williams speaks about dedication of investigators during tragic Derek Saretzky case – Jun 28, 2017

“The verdict obviously is for the victims here,” Williams said.

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“Many RCMP investigators, support staff and units worked tirelessly on these cases,” he said, adding more than 100 investigators were involved in this case during the initial stages.

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