The man convicted of killing his friend and roommate in August 2016 has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years.
William Joles, 29, was found guilty in the death of Nathan Deslippe, 27, in May and a sentencing hearing in late June saw 43 victim impact statements entered into the record.
A second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but the judge announced Thursday that parole eligibility will be set at 14 years, which works out to 11 years with credit for time already served.
In his statement Justice Jonathan George acknowledged the victim impact statements, saying it’s clear Deslippe was cherished by many.
George also reminded those present that retribution is not part of the law.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Deslippe’s father, Tim Deslippe, said he doesn’t believe the sentence holds Joles accountable.
“Fourteen years means we’ll be back in 11 years to probably do this again for his parole request. In 11 years, Will won’t even be 40, he can possibly be out. To me, it doesn’t seem right,” said Deslippe.
“I know it’s the system, the judge did a great job, the Crown did a great job, but the system — at 14 years — I just don’t think that reflects what was done.”
Referencing the sheer number of victim impact statements, Nathan’s sister noted that her brother will always be part of their lives moving forward.
“It may not be the result that we had hoped for but at least we have a result and can move forward with our lives.”
Deslippe’s mother said her son has left a lasting legacy in his short time.
“We had a full courtroom at the impact statement day. I’m still blown away by all the care and support we’ve received,” said Mona Lam-Deslippe.
“But it also has become really clear to me that … we are not the only ones that have been hurt and impacted in this situation, so many people have.”
Joles’s lawyer, John Getliffe, said he believes his client received a fair trial.
“It was a difficult call just as it was a difficult call for this jury. They agonized over it for a day and a half and they came back with a decision that really can’t be questioned, legally or I even think practically,” he said.
“At this moment I haven’t had a chance to discuss with him how he feels about the eligibility time. The judge explained it from his perspective, and it’s a difficult call given the post-offence conduct and we appreciate that.”
That post-offence conduct was referenced by Joles himself when he had the opportunity to speak during the June hearing. He said that he’s been well behaved during the last almost two years that he’s been at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre, that he’s given up drinking, and is taking Bible classes and yoga classes.
Nathan Deslippe was a yoga instructor and also worked at voices.com and was an active and well-loved member of many different circles in the community.
London police were called to a Colborne Street apartment in August 2016 and found Deslippe’s body. Police announced charges against William Omar Joles the following day.
— With files from 980 CFPL’s Jaclyn Carbone, Jess Brady, and Liny Lamberink.