Vancouver Sun

Man who used axe to kill his mother gets life in prison

- KEITH FRASER keithrfras­er

A Richmond man who used an axe to murder his mother has been sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibilit­y for 15 years.

In March, a B.C. Supreme Court jury found Darwin Lescano, 42, guilty of the May 2015 second-degree murder of his mom, Redelma Belissario, 62.

The trial heard that Lescano had a long-standing animosity toward the mother of three and that the main issue between them was money.

The mom was industriou­s and had invested in several properties and her son felt he was entitled to his share of the properties. He wanted his inheritanc­e “now.”

In 2008, he set fire to his mom’s home on Cambie Road, where he lived with her.

He told police he was trying to get a reaction out of his mom, who he had made sure was not home at the time of the fire. Lescano was convicted of arson and received a jail term.

In late 2014 and into 2015 he was living with his father, but his dad asked him to leave, calling police to assist him in getting the son to relocate.

Lescano moved in with his mother, but his dysfunctio­nal relationsh­ip with her continued. He broke windows in her vehicle, pushed holes in the drywall of her home and got into frequent fights with her. He stole from her and threatened to kill her.

She called police and wanted him out of the home. He left but later returned.

On the day of the murder, Lescano, who was addicted to crystal methamphet­amine, had purchased some drugs from a drug dealer.

In imposing sentence Wednesday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper said she was unable to determine which of his versions to accept without him giving evidence.

The judge said that there was no evidence that Lescano suffered from mental disabiliti­es at the time of the offence, despite the diagnoses that he had a narcissist­ic personalit­y disorder and a meth-use disorder that at times was associated with psychotic symptoms.

Gropper noted that the psychiatri­sts did not say that the diagnoses constitute­d a mental disorder that was heightened by his use of crystal meth.

“The crime was not committed due to a methamphet­amine use disorder,” said the judge. “It was committed because he had a deepseated hatred of his mother.”

The Crown had called for a parole-ineligibil­ity period of between 15 and 18 years.

The defence called for the 10year minimum.

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