Windsor man sentenced to life, ineligible for parole for 15 years in 'brutal killing'
Published Thursday, March 14, 2019 10:55AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 15, 2019 9:37AM EDT
A Windsor man, facing a life sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, will not be eligible for parole for 15 years.
John Wayne Pierre, 49, received his sentence from Justice Renee Pomerance on Thursday.
In September, a jury made up of four women and eight men found Pierre guilty of second degree murder in the brutal killing of Lesley Watterworth on Nov. 1, 2016.
“Very happy with the sentence, very happy; wish it could have been more,” said Veronica Watterworth, Lesley’s mother.
She added, “He’s (Pierre) going where he belongs.”
During the trial, Pierre admitted to killing his 42-year-old girlfriend.
The jury heard Watterworth suffered 69 sharp force injuries and stab wounds to her body, including a fatal stab wound to her back that was 15 centimetres deep.
Crown attorney Eric Costaris described her death as "a brutal killing of an unarmed woman in her own home at the hands of her domestic partner."
The Crown asked for a period of parole ineligibility of 15 to 18 years while Pierre's defence lawyer Ken Marley asked for 10 to 13 years.
“It was certainly higher than I was seeking, in terms of the parole ineligibility period,” said Marley. “I think he also is discouraged by the fact the parole eligibility is so high but, he’s trying to resolve himself to being in custody for potentially a long period of time.”
Court heard Pierre has a criminal record; two assault convictions from 1991 and 2001, plus a robbery conviction from 1992.
“Fair decision,” is how crown attorney Shelly McGuire described the verdict. “It’s an intimate relationship. You’re supposed to be able to trust your partner that they’re going to take care of you, more than anybody else in the world.”
“I was impressed by the manner which she connected with the difficult background he’s had and how all of this is as much a shock to him as it is to everybody else,” said Marley.
Veronica Watterworth’s victim impact statement, read after the jury found Pierre guilty of second degree murder, said:
“My church and my pastor say I have to forgive you for my own sake and yours," but she went on to say she didn't think she could forgive. She said "I don't understand why you did this to Lesley."
After being found guilty, Pierre apologized to the family and told the court “I'm truly sorry for what happened that day. It’s been an ongoing nightmare. Still can't believe I was capable of committing this crime."
While nothing can fill the hole left by the loss of her daughter, Veronica Watterworth will have something tangible to hold to remember her little girl.
“I’ve got her ring and her necklace, the detective brought it back to me today,” said Watterworth. “So, I do have that.”