'Sadosexual' killer Williams gets 2 life sentences
Published Thursday, October 21, 2010 9:45PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 3:00AM EDT
Soon to be ex-Col. Russell Williams was given two life sentences Thursday for horrific crimes he admitted "traumatized" many.
Williams addressed a packed Belleville, Ont. courtroom Thursday, saying he is "indescribably ashamed" of his crimes, which include two murders, two sexual assaults and countless break and enters and thefts.
It's the first time Williams has spoken in court since Monday, when he pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder.
"Your honour, I stand before you incredibly ashamed. I know the crimes I committed have traumatized many people," Williams said in a shaking voice, before the judge sentenced him to life in prison.
"The family and friends of Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd in particular have suffered and continue to suffer pain and sorrow as a result of what I've done."
Williams received two 25-year life sentences for the first degree murders of Jessica Lloyd, 27, and Marie-France Comeau, 38.
He was also sentenced to one year each for his 82 break and enter charges, and 10 years for each of his four sexual assault and forcible confinement charges. All sentences will be served concurrently, meaning Williams will serve a total of 25 years before he is eligible to apply for parole.
"The depths of the depravity demonstrated by Russell Williams had no equal," Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Scott said Thursday.
"One suspects that he has contained for most of his adult life sexual desires and fetishes. ...Russell Williams will forever be remembered as a sadosexual serial killer."
He was transported under tight security Thursday from court to Kingston Penitentiary, where he will serve out his sentence.
Williams told the court Thursday he hoped his actions following his arrest would somehow mitigate the pain he had caused.
"My sincere hope is that my detailed confession on the night of Feb. 7 and co-operation with investigators since and guilty pleas this week have in some way served to temper the very serious harm I have caused my victims families and friends," Williams said.
Crown Attorney Lee Burgess did not seek dangerous offender status for Williams, saying it would have only added to the length of court proceedings, not to Williams' sentence which is already the maximum.
If Williams ever applies for parole, Burgess said after court adjourned, the full details of his crimes will be available to the board considering his application.
"This record, more than anything, is what will keep him behind bars forever," Burgess told reporters.
I don't really care what stipulation he has on him. So long as he dies in jail I'm happy.
-- Andy Lloyd, brother of Jessica Lloyd
After court adjourned just before noon on Thursday, the family of Jessica Lloyd spoke to reporters. Her brother, Andy Lloyd, said he felt "fantastic" about the sentence and the family finally had a sense of closure.
"I know my mom's in the same boat and all my aunts and uncles, we just want to get back to our normal lives and be normal again."
Lloyd also said he wasn't concerned that Williams did not receive dangerous offender designation.
"I don't really care what stipulation he has on him. So long as he dies in jail I'm happy," Lloyd said, standing beside his mother who was clutching a framed image of her daughter.
Prosecutors spent three days going over Williams' crimes in excruciating detail and court heard from the family of his victims about how their lives had been affected by what he did.
Williams pleaded guilty to all charges against him on Monday. He was formally convicted of those crimes on Tuesday afternoon after the Crown spent two days reading a lengthy and detailed agreed statement of the facts on Williams' crimes.
On Wednesday an edited video of Williams' taped confession to police was played in court, and family members of victims also read their victim impact statements.
Letters of apology from Williams to the families of some of his victims were also read in court.
In the interrogation video shown in court on Wednesday, Williams first appears relaxed, smiling and telling police he's glad they are doing road checks such as the one that brought him to the attention of investigators.
After several hours of questioning and being presented with evidence against him, however, Williams becomes more tense, remaining silent for long periods of time and appearing to struggle over his next move. Eventually he begins to confess his crimes, going into chilling detail about the murders of Lloyd and Comeau as well as his other crimes.
Belleville Police Chief Cory McMullan said Thursday that Williams betrayed the trust placed in him by residents of the area, but said the community would eventually heal.
"There's been a very significant betrayal, especially with the position he held. The community won't be the same, but it is a very strong community and we're going to work together," she said.