May 17, 2019 12:29 pm
Updated: May 17, 2019 9:11 pm

Colton Steinhauer found guilty of 2 counts of 1st-degree murder in fatal Mac’s robberies

WATCH ABOVE: One of the three people charged in the deaths of two Mac's convenience store clerks was found guilty Friday of two counts of first-degree murder. Vinesh Pratap reports.

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Colton Steinhauer, one of the three people charged in the deaths of two Mac’s convenience store clerks, was found guilty Friday of two counts of first-degree murder.

The verdict comes with an automatic life sentence, and now the jury will offer its recommendation on whether Steinhauer should serve his sentences consecutively or concurrently. The judge will make the final decision.

Sentencing will take place in early September.

The two clerks, Karanpal Bhanghu and Ricky Cenabre, were killed on Dec. 18, 2015 at two different locations.

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In an agreed statement of facts, Steinhauer admitted to driving with Laylin Delorme and a 13-year-old boy to a Mac’s store in southeast Edmonton. The three entered the store wearing masks. Delorme was carrying a gun. Steinhauer had a large bladed weapon and a bag.

The three took money and cigarettes from the store and assaulted Bhanghu. As they were leaving, Delorme fired at Bhanghu, who later died of gunshot wounds.

A short time later, the three travelled seven kilometres to a different Mac’s store. They robbed and assaulted Cenabre.

The agreed statement of facts reads: “Just before leaving the store, Steinhauer is handed the gun… Steinhauer then shoots Cenabre.”

Cenabre died from a gunshot wound to the back.

Steinhauer, Delorme and the 13-year-old were arrested after their vehicle crashed on Whitemud Drive.

READ MORE: Crown prosecutor rejects plea attempt as trial begins for accused Mac’s murderer

Steinhauer’s murder trial before a jury of 14 people began May 3.

Through his lawyer, Steinhauer pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder but guilty of manslaughter. The Crown did not accept those pleas. Steinhauer also pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery with a weapon. The Crown accepted those pleas.

Seventeen days were set aside for the trial.

The jury began deliberations early Thursday afternoon, and came back with a decision Friday morning.

In June 2018, Delorme was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the December 2015 shooting deaths. A judge decided Delorme would serve his first-degree murder convictions concurrently, which means he will be eligible for parole after 25 years.

The youth, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter in November 2018.

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of three years. Both the Crown and defence in the case asked for the maximum three-year sentence, which the judge accepted.

With credit for time served, he was released on Dec. 14, 2018.

— With files from Fletcher Kent

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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