CALGARY - Two families whose lives changed forever when Robert Scribner fatally stabbed his 17-year-old pregnant girlfriend united in their grief Tuesday after he was given the minimum sentence for second-degree murder.

A judge ruled that Scribner, 23, will not be eligible for parole for at least 10 years for stabbing Cari Lynn Gaulton to death with a hunting knife in February 2005. The two had been arguing because Scribner suspected his girlfriend was cheating on him. At one point, he threatened suicide and turned the knife on himself.

Outside court, their mothers embraced and faced reporters together. Other family members on both sides wept and hugged each other.

"We loved them both and this was a terrible tragedy and we're sorry for everything that's happened," said Scribner's mother, June Stadnek, who stood with tears in her eyes. "We just hope that people can learn from this and not let it happen again.

"We're all going through this. Both families -- and not just one."

"So ends the story of Cary Lynn Gaulton and Robert Oliver Scribner. The lesson to be learned from their story is intervention," said Cheryl Davis, Gaulton's mother, as she took off her glasses to wipe away tears.

"If you have someone in your life - anyone who you care about, who is expressing irrational or unhealthy thoughts or emotions, be it talk of suicide or obsessive jealousy or possessiveness - do what you can to help them," she urged.

"The ending of Cary and Rob's story is tragic. Don't let the story of someone you love end the same."

Crown prosecutor Pat Yelle, who suggested Scribner serve 12 to 15 years before being eligible for parole, had painted a dark portrait of the man during sentencing arguments last week.

"He killed not only her but the fetus growing inside her. He knew she was pregnant and that she was carrying his child," Yelle said.

She also accused him of being guilty of a form of domestic abuse and blackmailing his girlfriend into staying with him. She told court he had threatened suicide on other occasions.

But Court of Queen's Bench Justice Scott Brooker rejected the Crown's depiction. The judge described Scribner instead as a "hard working and well-liked young man" and suggested the crime was "out of character."

"From my vantage point he seemed genuinely remorseful for what has happened," said Brooker.

"Rob is responsible for killing the woman he professed to love and the mother of his unborn child. He will have to live with the regret and guilt for the rest of his life.

"He is labelled a murderer."

Brooker said he took into account that Scribner had no previous record and hadn't threatened the victim before. He called it the "ultimate manifestation of domestic violence."

"It was a quick and violent attack prompted by a quick and violent rage."

The judge noted that Scribner was the product of a dysfunctional home and was abused by his father before leaving to live on his own at the age of 16. He said the prospects for rehabilitation were good.

Outside court, Scribner's lawyer said he was satisfied with the judge's decision.

"My client's remorse has been real and he doesn't feel like he won anything here, or there was a victory," said David Andrews.

"He just hopes that eventually he can become a contributing member of society, but there's no happiness or joy there."