WARNING: The details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.
A 51-year-old woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the 2019 death of an Edmonton senior.
Cynthia Hamelin was sentenced in an Edmonton courtroom Wednesday after pleading guilty in early February to manslaughter in 83-year-old Giuseppina Micieli’s death. Hamelin was originally charged with first-degree murder.
Her 10-year-sentence will see her receive six months credit for time she has already spent behind bars prior to her sentencing.
On July 20, 2019, Hamelin went to the Piazza Italia Seniors’ Residence in central Edmonton where she began pushing buzzers in an attempt to get in the building. Hamelin was out on bail at the time for charges related to breaking into seniors’ homes.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Hamelin pretended to be a tenant and said she lost her keys until someone eventually buzzed her into the building on 108A Avenue near 95 Street.
Hamelin tried several door handles to find ones that were unlocked. Eventually, she ran into Micieli, who was taking out her garbage.
Hamelin said she needed to use her bathroom and invited herself into Micieli’s suite. Micieli followed her and saw her stealing jewelry from her bedroom.
Court heard Hamelin asked the senior where she kept her money. When she said she didn’t have any, Hamelin kicked Micieli in the leg, knocking her to the ground.
Hamelin then repeatedly stomped on the senior’s ribs, kicking and punching her all over her body.
Hamelin covered her mouth to stifle the senior’s screams and then grabbed her by the hair and repeatedly beat her head into the ground.
With Micieli unable to get up, Hamelin rifled through the suite, taking various items, including three rings off Micieli’s hand.
Neighbours heard the commotion and tried to get into Micieli’s suite, but the door was locked. About 10 minutes after going into the suite, Hamelin opened the door and ran away, past the neighbours. She was captured on surveillance cameras entering and exiting the suite.
Micieli was taken to an Edmonton hospital with a broken hip, five broken ribs and bruising all over her body.
Hamelin was arrested three days after the break-in.
While in custody, Hamelin called her boyfriend and said she was going to pin the crime on another woman. She then called an anonymous tip line and told the call-taker “they’ve got the wrong person.”
Court heard the grandmother died in hospital 37 days later — on Aug. 26, 2019 — from pneumonia caused by the blunt force injuries inflicted during the assault.
The Crown in the case asked for a 10-year sentence, pointing out a number of aggravating factors, including “excessive violence” and the fact Micieli was 83, very small and frail. The Crown also pointed out that Hamelin tried to pin the offence on someone else.
The defence had sought a sentence of between five-and-a-half years to seven years.