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Life sentence handed down to man convicted in cold case murder of girlfriend

Adrienne McColl, 21, in an undated photo was found dead outside Nanton on February 17, 2002. Alberta RCMP

A man convicted for killing his girlfriend in 2002 has been handed a life sentence.

Stephane Parent will not be eligible for parole for 17 years.

Parent was found guilty of second-degree murder last October in the death Adrienne McColl.

Read more: Stephane Parent remains in custody, court case put over a month for 2002 death of Adrienne McColl

She was just 21 years old when her body was found in a ditch near Nanton on Feb. 17, 2002, after she went missing on Valentine’s Day.

McColl had been strangled and beaten to death.

Senior prosecutor Shane Parker said justice C.S. Anderson’s decision weighed past decisions on domestic homicides Parker characterized as “stern and firm.”

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“Adrienne was attacked by someone who should have been protecting her, and she was attacked in a place that she should have felt safe, her home,” he said Friday. “When that doesn’t occur and you die at the hands of your partner, the courts will treat it very seriously and they have here.”

Click to play video: 'From the archives: Police continue investigating death of Adrienne McColl 1 year after disappearance' From the archives: Police continue investigating death of Adrienne McColl 1 year after disappearance
From the archives: Police continue investigating death of Adrienne McColl 1 year after disappearance – Feb 19, 2018

Parker said the sentence isn’t likely to provide emotional closure to McColl’s friends and family.

“I think it is a chance at least where we can say we’ve held someone accountable for your loved one’s death and that’s all the justice system can do is to hold people accountable,” he told Global News Friday.

Parker said the distance between where McColl was found dead and where he believes she was killed – in her Calgary home – and the amount of time between her death and Parent’s arrest were complicating factors in the trial.

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Parent was arrested and charged 16 years to the day her body was found, thanks to advancements in forensic technology which allowed police to discover new evidence in the cold case.

Read more: Stephane Parent convicted of 2nd-degree murder in Calgary girlfriend’s death nearly 20 years ago

Sentencing had originally been scheduled for Nov. 29, 2021, but was adjourned to Friday.

Parent did not have a defense lawyer present and didn’t submit a suggested sentence, but shook his head as the decision came down.

When asked if he had any objection to the Crown’s written submission, Parent continued to defend himself, saying he was not guilty.

He was also handed a lifetime firearms ban.

Click to play video: 'Remembering Adrienne McColl: best friend seeks justice in historical Calgary murder' Remembering Adrienne McColl: best friend seeks justice in historical Calgary murder
Remembering Adrienne McColl: best friend seeks justice in historical Calgary murder – Mar 20, 2018

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