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Christopher Garnier to serve 13.5 years in prison without eligibility of parole

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WATCH: A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has ruled that Christopher Garnier must serve 13.5 years in prison without the eligibility of parole. Natasha Pace was in court and brings us that story – Aug 14, 2018

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has ruled that Christopher Garnier must serve 13.5 years in prison without the eligibility of parole.

Garnier, 30, was convicted in December of second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body in the September 2015 death of 36-year-old Catherine Campbell.

The murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence.

READ MORE: Mother of murder victim tells hearing ‘there will be no forgiveness’ for Christopher Garnier

Garnier will get credit for the time he has already served in prison which, according to Justice Joshua Arnold, amounts to 699 days.

During his trial, Garnier repeatedly told the jury he did not remember using a large green compost bin to dispose of the body near the bridge, where it stayed undetected for nearly five days.

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The 30-year-old was also sentenced to serve a concurrent four year sentence for performing an indignity to human remains as a result of his actions.

Garnier showed no emotion as the decision was read.

He had met Campbell for the first time that night at a downtown Halifax bar, and hours later she was dead in a north end apartment.

“On Sept. 11, 2015, as shown on the surveillance video from the Alehouse, Catherine Campbell was expecting romance and affection on the evening she was murdered. She was vulnerable,” said Arnold in his decision.

“For reasons unknown, Mr. Garnier punched her in the face, broke her nose, strangled her to death, and then, in an effort to hide his crime, treated her remains like garbage.”

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Arnold noted that Dr. Matthew Bowes, Nova Scotia’s chief medical examiner, had told the jury it would take between two and six minutes to cause death by strangulation.

“Therefore, Ms. Campbell’s death was not akin to a single punch that results in death, a quick squeeze of a trigger, or even the quick stroke of a knife,” he said.

“Mr. Garnier intentionally squeezed the life out of Ms. Campbell over a number of minutes, and such action was not merely a split-second lapse of self-control.”

The judge noted that Campbell was a trained police officer, and women with less self-defence training would be “deeply troubled by this crime.”

The Crown argued at the hearing that Garnier should serve 16 years before he’s able to apply for parole, while the defence argued Garnier should become eligible for parole after serving 10 years.

With files from The Canadian Press

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