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Duran Redwood sentenced to life in prison, 15 years before parole eligibility

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WATCH: Duran Redwood, 30, has been sentenced to life in prison with 15 years before parole eligibility for killing 33-year-old Celeste Yawney, on May 24, 2015 – Mar 25, 2019

The mood was sombre inside the Court of Queen’s Bench in Regina on Monday afternoon as a judge sentenced Duran Redwood, 30, to 25 years in prison and 15 years before eligibility of parole for the murder of Celeste Yawney, 33, in 2015.

The sentencing hearing began earlier in the day with victim impact statements from friends and family.

Redwood’s sentence was the outcome Yawney’s family expected, knowing no decision would bring back her positive outlook on life and beaming smile.

READ MORE: Victim’s family speaks out after jury finds Duran Redwood guilty of second-degree murder

“I feel the outcome of the sentencing was right. I felt the strength of my mom speaking and I felt the strength of everyone who’s been praying for our family,” said Janine Pereira, Yawney’s sister.

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The Crown argued for the maximum 20 years before parole eligibility based on Redwood’s history of domestic abuse.

Redwood was charged with two counts of assault in 2012, one against his own mother and the other against the mother of his child.

READ MORE: ‘I believe I did it’ — Accused killer takes the stand in Regina murder trial

He was also charged in 2006 for assaulting a previous domestic partner.

Those details weren’t heard by the jury.

The defence referenced Redwood’s Gladue report in its argument, including his dysfunctional upbringing, which involved alcohol and abuse, and asked for 10 years until parole eligibility.

“I felt that Mr. Redwood was genuine in his perspective throughout this process. He was severely intoxicated and has no recollection of the event,” said Kevin Hill, his defence lawyer.

READ MORE: Witness in Regina murder trial testifies Duran Redwood admitted to hitting girlfriend

In January, Redwood told the court he remembered a heavy night of drinking and consuming what he believed to be cocaine before waking up the next morning to find Yawney’s body in the bathtub.

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Cpl. Cory Longhurst, who was the acting sergeant the day after the murder, had previously testified that Yawney was found face down in a crouched position and that she had wet hair and her pants around her knees.

He also said it appeared she had sustained blunt force trauma to the face.

Since her daughter’s death, Carla Yawney has been vocal about the importance of speaking up if involved in an abusive relationship.

READ MORE: Cop details crime scene in Regina murder trial of man accused of killing girlfriend

She also said it’s important for everyone to pay close to attention to what’s happening around them.

“We will always mourn Celeste, but our hope is that people will educate themselves to be able to watch for signs of those who are abused,” Carla said.

Redwood had one final chance to address the family. In court, he said he realized the pain he had caused not only to Yawney but to her family and friends. Redwood said he takes full responsibility for changing their lives forever.

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