Judge sen­tences Borut­ski to life in prison with no chance of pa­role for 70 years

Ottawa Citizen - - CITY - AEDAN HELMER ahelmer@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/ helmera

Basil Borut­ski’s crimes were “so de­plorable, so de­void of mercy” that Jus­tice Robert Maranger showed no mercy of his own in sen­tenc­ing Borut­ski to con­sec­u­tive life sen­tences with no chance of pa­role for 70 years.

Borut­ski, 60, will spend the rest of his days in jail for the first­de­gree mur­ders of Anas­ta­sia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmer­dam, and the sec­ond-de­gree mur­der of Carol Cul­leton in what Maranger called a “vi­cious, cold-blooded” killing spree through Ren­frew County on Sept. 22, 2015.

The packed court­room, which was moved to a larger room to ac­com­mo­date the large pub­lic gallery from the com­mu­nity, fell silent Wed­nes­day as Maranger read his de­ci­sion, call­ing for con­sec­u­tive life sen­tences for the killings — “a true life sen­tence,” the judge said.

Borut­ski will not be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role un­til the year 2085 — he would be 128 years old — and both Crown and court-ap­pointed am­i­cus James Fo­ord, who called for 40 years of pa­role in­el­i­gi­bil­ity, agreed un­der ei­ther sce­nario Borut­ski would likely die in jail.

“From time to time, a crime is so de­plorable, so de­void of mercy, so cold-blooded that de­nun­ci­a­tion, ret­ri­bu­tion and giv­ing a sense of jus­tice to the many vic­tims in the com­mu­nity at large be­comes the paramount, and vir­tu­ally the sin­gu­lar, con­sid­er­a­tion,” said Maranger. “(This) is one such case.”

Maranger said the day of the killings will for­ever be re­mem­bered as “a time of ter­ror and of sor­row. It will al­ways be con­sid­ered one of the sad­dest, dark­est days in the com­mu­nity’s his­tory.”

Borut­ski took it upon him­self to “ex­act vengeance,” Maranger said, “to act as judge, jury and ex­e­cu­tioner against three beloved, in­no­cent women. On that day, Basil Borut­ski com­mit­ted vi­cious, cold­blooded mur­ders.”

Maranger ex­pressed sympathy for the women killed, for the fam­ily mem­bers who wit­nessed their mur­ders, for the friends, fam­ily and the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity that still feels their loss from the “everlasting ter­ror of that day.”

Out­side the court­house af­ter Wed­nes­day’s de­ci­sion, Nathalie Warmer­dam’s daugh­ter, Valerie, said she was re­lieved to be at­tend­ing the fi­nal court date in a trial orig­i­nally sched­uled to span 17 weeks, yet con­cluded in just over six.

“This is the out­come we ex­pected all along, or hoped for, at least,” said Warmer­dam, sur­rounded by sup­port­ers. “It’s def­i­nitely a weight off our shoul­ders. And he ain’t ever go­ing to hurt any­body again.”

Crown prose­cu­tor Jef­fery Richard­son said while it was co­in­ci­den­tal that the sen­tenc­ing oc­curred on Dec. 6, with court­house flags fly­ing at half-mast on the Na­tional Day of Re­mem­brance and Ac­tion on Vi­o­lence Against Women, it was his hope that sur­vivors could draw their own sig­nif­i­cance from the sen­tenc­ing date.

“I’d like to be able to say the fact the sen­tence came down on Dec. 6 can pro­vide some com­fort to those who are sur­vivors of vi­o­lence against women,” Richard­son said.

Maranger called Borut­ski a “vi­o­lent, vin­dic­tive, cal­cu­lat­ing abuser of women.”

He said Borut­ski seemed “in­ca­pable” of tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for his many wrongs, and called it “out­ra­geous” that Borut­ski had at­tempted to blame ev­ery­one for his prob­lems but him­self, from his vic­tims to po­lice to the courts and le­gal sys­tem that first jailed him.

Maranger called the first-de­gree mur­ders of Kuzyk and Warmer­dam, two vic­tims who were abused by Borut­ski in the past, “cold­blooded and bru­tal.”

The judge veered from the jury’s ver­dict in the sec­ond-de­gree mur­der of Cul­leton, say­ing “there was an el­e­ment of plan­ning,” and it was clear Borut­ski was an­gry with Cul­leton when he showed up at her cot­tage that morn­ing at the start of his killing spree.

Maranger said with Borut­ski al­ready fac­ing au­to­matic life sen­tences, the only two is­sues to con­sider were the pe­riod of pa­role in­el­i­gi­bil­ity — from 10 to 25 years for a sec­ond-de­gree mur­der con­vic­tion — and whether the sen­tences would be served con­sec­u­tively.

Maranger sided with the Crown in im­pos­ing con­sec­u­tive life sen­tences, and set­ting the pa­role in­el­i­gi­bil­ity for Cul­leton’s mur­der at 20 years.

He said the ev­i­dence against Borut­ski “was abun­dant, it was un­equiv­o­cal, it was over­whelm­ing.”

He thanked the OPP in­ves­ti­ga­tors, Crown pros­e­cu­tors Richard­son and Julie Scott, and cour­tap­pointed am­i­cus cu­riae James Fo­ord for “ex­em­plary work” through­out.

The judge chided Borut­ski for re­main­ing “silent and aloof” dur­ing pro­ceed­ings, where he rep­re­sented his own de­fence by largely re­main­ing quiet, eyes closed in the pris­oner’s box, re­fus­ing to par­tic­i­pate in pre­trial mo­tions, a psy­chi­atric as­sess­ment, the jury se­lec­tion, or the bulk of the trial, said Maranger, “in­clud­ing this fi­nal stage.”

Borut­ski was again silent Wed­nes­day when Maranger asked him if he had any­thing fi­nal to say to the court.

He was led out in shack­les and trans­ported away in an OPP ve­hi­cle, bound for a life in prison.

GREG BAN­NING

Basil Borut­ski sat silently when asked if he had any­thing to say Wed­nes­day, af­ter his sen­tenc­ing.

Jef­fery Richardson

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