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I'm in court this morning for the beginning of Bruce McArthur's sentencing hearing. We're going to get a lot more details of the case today. I'm not going into a bunch of detail here, but mute this thread if you'd rather not hear any of it.
In a pretty extraordinary move, the Crown attorney just warned the courtroom that the testimony they'll be hearing today. "It could impact your appetite and ability to sleep," he cautioned. Asked everyone to think hard about whether or not they want to be here.
High schools sometimes assign students to go sit in on a court case. There are *a lot* of high school students here today.
The court filing will be a "summary of the evidence" against McArthur. Implies he didn't offer any details to investigators.
A newly-added paragraph, though, reads that there are no other anticipated victims, according to the Crown.
Stunning start to the statement of facts

"For years, Toronto's LGBTQ community believed they were being targeted by a killer. They were right."
Good police work cracked this case. Police had footage of Andrew Kinsman getting into a red, 2004 Dodge Caravan. They pulled a list of all those vehicles, cross-referenced with the name "Bruce" — the name in Kinsman's calendar for the day he went missing.
We've always wondered why so many of these men disappeared either in the Summer or around holidays. The Crown confirms that the murders occurred on dates when McArthur had "undisturbed access" to the property where he buried the bodies.
Crown confirms police interviewed McArthur in relation to the first three missing person cases.
They interviewed McArthur as a witness, as he was tied to both Skanda Navaratnam and Abdulbsair Faizi. We've not yet gotten to the 3rd disappearance, of Majeed Kayhan. We know McArthur was associated to him as well, in 2013.
The Crown are showing photos and exhibits, but are, I think quite purposefully, now showing the more gruesome photos of the victims. In one instance they even cropped the photo to avoid showing the victim.
We're on break right now. The Crown plans on stopping every hour. I think the idea is not to overwhelm everyone, particularly the families.
McArthur had a USB key with 9 folders — one with each victim's name, plus one marked "John."
When McArthur was interviewed, in 2013, he "was not a suspected. He was a witness in a missing person investigation."
McArthur only obtained a record suspension on his 2001 assault charge in *2014.* Meaning it was still on his record when police interviewed him under Project Houston in 2013.
Per earlier tweet: we don't know who "John" refers to yet, but details coming further down the statement, Crown said.
It seems "John" is the man McArthur attacked in his van in 2016. McArthur kept photos of the man prior to the attack. He was arrested after that assault but was released after giving a statement.
So we learned that "John" was the man found in McArthur's bed the day of his arrest. They had been intimate previously. It seems McArthur intended him to be the 9th victim.
When police arrested McArthur, he may have been minutes away from the murder.
As he wraps up the evidence, the Crown pauses. He's choked up. Now soldiering through, though he's having a hard time. Reading these details are unbelievably tough. I feel for him.
The Crown concludes by saying police have not furnished him with any evidence suggesting there are more victims.

Victim impact statements begin this afternoon.
So the statement of facts, as I said previously, doesn't appear to include any details provided by McArthur. Crown acknowledged that McArthur's decision to forgo a trial suggested some degree of remorse, but didn't say much beyond that.
Victim impact statements begin now. These are chances for friends and family to offer insight into what they've lost. Just one quote:
"Selim spent his life asking why. We will continue his quest."
There have been some really powerful statements, and there's some more to come. Honestly just too hard to distill them into tweets. But looking like everything will wrap today. Sentence could come today or tomorrow, it seems like.
Things ended earlier than expected. Rest of the statements will come tomorrow. Then legal submissions on sentencing. Then the sentence.
Back in court today for, what could be, the last day of sentencing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the first appearance for an officer facing professional conduct charges for a 2016 arrest of McArthur.
Victim impact statements are continuing. Right now is a man who come to Canada, from Sri Lanka, along with Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam. He describes the "joy" of arriving in Canada after weeks at sea, only to face jail, then the fear following his friend's disappearance.
Victim impact statements finished. Now onto legal arguments. Crown successfully applies to include the record of McArthur's 2003 assault for sentencing — the record suspension he obtained is vacated.
So only 6 of the 8 convictions are eligible for conservative sentences. (Ottawa changed the law around 2012.) Meaning the lightest sentence available would be parole eligibility in 25 years; the strictest would be 150 years.
Judge wants to know what the Crown thinks how he should view McArthur's decision to spare the families a full trial.
Crown says: Yeah, you can consider it, but you have to consider everything else as well.
I, of course, earlier meant *consecutive* sentences. (The Conservative government brought in the sentencing changes, hence the Freudian slip.)
Interesting. The Crown isn't trying to stack all the convictions. They're seeking two consecutive sentences, meaning parole after 50 years — he'll be 116 before he's eligible.
McArthur's lawyer made a relatively brief submission, saying the two consecutive life sentences was unduly harsh.

He notes, at the end, that McArthur is aware of his ability to address the court. He declined.
Judge asks McArthur to stand and asks directly: Do you want to address the court?

McArthur stands. "No, your honour, I've discussed this with my council-" then mumbles something to the effect of: I won't say anything.
Court done for today. All that's left is sentencing. That'll come Friday.
Hey, got lots of messages from folks asking if I'm okay: I'm doing just fine, all things considering. I've got a great support system.

But for those folks — journalists, loved ones, advocates, and otherwise — who're feeling impacted by the story: Counselling is a huge help.
Back in court for the last legal chapter for McArthur. We'll find out this morning whether he'll be eligible for parole in his lifetime.
Court has wrapped with its other matters for the time being. Judge takes a bit of a break as we wait for McArthur to be led in.

"This is going to take a bit of time," Justice McMahon warns.
Ok McArthur is here. Courtroom is packed. Phalanx of cops sitting in the row just behind him.
Justice McMahon has written reasons, but he'll also be reading those reasons for the sake of accountability, he says. Could take some time, but that's what he wants.
So the judge confirms that negotiations for a plea had been going on for some months. As part of that, "evidence would be conceded," he notes. Again: Strong suggestion McArthur and his counsel had no hand in detailing the crimes he committed.
Judge is mostly recapping the facts at this point. Include the last-minute arrest. "I have no hesitation in concluding, were it not for the excellent police intervention...'John' would have been the ninth victim"
Ok, we're on to the rationale behind his sentence. Remember, we're talking about whether he'll be eligible parole in 25 years or 50 years. The judge, last week, seemed to list towards 25 years, in hopes of underscoring McArthur's guilty plea.
"If the accused is still alive, at 91, given the heinous nature of the crimes, it is very unlikely he would be given parole," the judge says, irrespective of whether he's eligible.
We're in to the case law. To date, there's no appellate-level case deciding these issues. So the judge can look at some of the other trials for direction, but it's ultimately up to him to determine the best way forward.
Most of this, for McArthur, is academic. It's unlikely he'll live to 91, and it's *incredibly* unlikely that he'd get parole then anyway.

Justice McMahon's decision, here, will add to the case law on the matter and could inform future multiple homicide cases.
One of the cases Justice McMahon is using to inform his decision is that of Justin Bourque, who shot and killed 3 RCMP officers. Bourque got consecutive sentences for those killings, making him ineligible for parole for 75 years.
(One thing being taken into account, at least to some degree, is age. Given McArthur is 67 years old, any ineligibility period longer than 50 years is pretty much redundant.)
So it's a good question. Thus far, Crown hasn't sought this designation. Not necessarily unusual. Life in prison does roughly the same thing as the designation. (Russel Williams, e.g, didn't get labelled as such, the Crown said, because it was redundant.)
The judge is also citing the sentencing of Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a nurse who killed eight of her patients. Justice says it's the most similar case. In a joint submission, Crown and defence opted for 25 years ineligibility. She also showed remorse.
"There has been no evidence, I can see, of remorse," Justice McMahon says of McArthur.
We're only halfway through. Taking a break.
Detectives who caught McArthur are towering over him as he's led back into the box. Insp. Idsinga looming over him particularly.
Though the judge seems compelled to recognize McArthur's guilty plea as a mitigating factor for sentencing, he's now going point-by-point through the aggregating factors, explaining just how extreme ever part of his crimes were.
Justice McMahon pauses on the idea that each of the families and friends of these men were victimized twice — once, when they went missing; and, again, when he was caught.
"This court cannot give them what they want most: It cannot give them their loved ones back."
Justice McMahon cites a victim impact statement of one of Andrew Kinsman's friends: Writing that their heart fractured when he was killed. It didn't break. Breaks heal. Fractures never really do.
Justice McMahon is using his sentencing reasons to recognize the impact, and resilience, of the LGBTQ community, as well as the immigrant and refugee communities — and the point where those communities intersect.
Justice McMahon acknowledges something that, I don't think, has been made public: McArthur has type 2 diabetes. (I've been told he left it untreated for some time.)
Justice McMahon says his chances of parole at 91 would be "remote." He adds that if he were paroled, given his age, it's unlikely he'll pose a threat. However, he notes he consider "the importance of symbolism" in his sentence.
The case law suggests symbolism *shouldn't* be considered. And McMahon says being ineligible for parole until he's 116 would be "symbolic.
Justice McMahon appears to be getting to his conclusion: Life imprisonment with eligibility for parole in 25 years. He hasn't said it yet, but I think that's where he's going.
If McArthur were a younger man, he says, it would be different. But, as is, he'll be 91.
McArthur is sentenced to concurrent sentences of 1st degree murder. He'll be eligible for parole in 25 years. He stands up as Justice McMahon reads the veredict.
There are other conditions. Firearms prohibition. He'll be added to the sex offender registry. He'll have to give a DNA sample. And he'll be forbidden from contacting any families of his victims.
There's also a forfeiture order, meaning the Crown could sell McArthur's seized items. That money would, likely, go into victim services funds.
McArthur is led out. There's a few administrative things to deal with it, but that's it. McArthur has been sentenced to life in prison.
Oh, this is unusual. The judge is making some comments and observations. Lauding the Crown for their professional work. To the defence: "Representing a serial killer is not an easy task."
The judge singles out Insp. Idsinga and Det-Sgt Dickinson (and the whole team.) Underscores their work — but underscores that he doesn't know what happened in earlier investigations.
"I hope that, through this, healing can start."

Closes his binder.

That's it.
I suspect people are going to be upset that McArthur relieved the lightest possible sentence. But keep in mind a few things:

25 years vs. 50 years is, given his age, largely the same thing

Given his crimes, the chances of parole are *so remote.*
And, this is the big one: Justice McMahon seemed taken with wanting to send the signal to all future killers in this spot that pleading guilty, and avoiding a trial, is worthwhile.
Nicole Borthwick, a friend of Andrew Kinsman, comes out to speak to reporters and says it succinctly:

"It's not enough."
I'm at police HQ. We'll be hearing from the Chief Saunders, Inspector Idsinga, Detective Dickinson, and LGBTQ liaison Bottineau. First time hearing from the cops since the guilty plea.
Chief Saunders up first. Promises he'll work to "rebuild trust" with the LGBTQ community. Says reviewing policies and practises will be the next step on that front.
Asked about the fact that McArthur was interviewed in 2013, but released, Chief Saunders says he won't go into the minutia of the case. Does say "some people are satisfied with the investigation," others, he admits, need more answers.
Det. Dickinson said there was no deal with McArthur. None.
On the cold case review: "We're getting close to the end." No evidence of other victims to this point.
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