Devenna found guilty of cold- blooded murder
VICTIM’S FAMILY THRILLED BY VERDICT
A FORMER soldier found guilty of the “premeditated and coldblooded” murder of his ex- partner will be sentenced today.
A jury took just 2 ½ hours yesterday to find Kynan Watego Devenna, 32, guilty of murdering Sarahjane Dower, 26, in Ayr on September 1, 2012.
In closing submissions to the Townsville Supreme Court yesterday, crown prosecutor Jacob Robson recited Devenna’s earlier confession: “I wanted her dead.”
“With those words the accused answered the only question we need answered,” Mr Robson said.
“His confession revealed a plan of premeditated and cold blooded murder.”
Devenna pleaded guilty to manslaughter as his trial opened on Monday, but Mr Robson refused to downgrade the murder charge.
The veteran also pleaded guilty to interfering with a corpse and two counts of arson.
The court heard Ms Dower met with Devenna at his mother’s house to discuss their two sons on September 1, 2012.
Mr Robson said Devenna came up behind his ex- partner, stabbed her in the neck and held her down as she gasped for breath.
He said Devenna told her “you’re going to die, I’m not calling an ambulance” and then stabbed her a second time when her death took too long.
“He wanted more time with the children so he killed their mother,” Mr Robson said.
Mr Robson said Devenna grabbed a blanket and removed the body from the house, drove Ms Dower’s utility to High Range and doused it, and her body, in fuel before lighting it.
He returned the following day, and set fire to the vehicle a second time.
Mr Robson said Devenna’s final confession came after his efforts to cover up the crime unravelled.
“He asked Jody ( his wife) to lie for him,” Mr Robson said. “He confessed to keep her out of it.”
Jody Marie Viero, 32, was sentenced in the Townsville Supreme Court in April after lying to police.
The Townsville Bulletin can now reveal that Viero was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, wholly suspended for three years.
Barrister Harvey Walters, for Devenna, argued his client was not rational at the time of the killing.
Mr Walters spoke at length about Devenna’s mental health following deployments to East Timor and Afghanistan.
He suggested that Devenna may have gone in to “army mode”, referring to his use of the words “immobilised her” during a police interview and his decision to drive to High Range to burn the body.
MURDERER: A Supreme Court jury yesterday found Kynan Watego Devenna guilty of the stabbing murder of his expartner and mother of his children, Sarahjane Dower ( right) in 2012.
SEEKING JUSTICE: The parents of Sarahjane Dower, Appolonia and John McDonnell, after yesterday’s verdict. Sarahjane Dower.