Dismembered teen's death 'horrifying' - Crime - Canoe.ca (external - login to view)
SUDBURY, Ont. - Rose Thrones hopes the young man convicted of murdering and dismembering her 15-year-old daughter will have to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“What I’d like to see is for him to have the same privileges as Dohlie has — none,” Thrones said outside the courthouse on Thursday.
Whitney “Dohlie” Van Der Wouden was murdered and her body was dismembered and burned in the woods on April 27, 2009, in Sudbury, about 400 km northwest of Toronto.
A jury found the youth, who had just turned 17 at the time of Dohlie’s death, guilty of second-degree murder and causing an indignity to a human body. His co-accused, 30-year-old Kristopher Lavallee, is in custody awaiting a hearing on his charges.
Judge Robbie Gordon has heard a day and a half of argument and evidence at the sentencing hearing of the now 19-year-old man. Gordon must decide if the man should be sentenced as a youth or as an adult. If sentenced as a youth, the maximum penalty is four years in custody and three years of supervision in the community. An adult sentence would be a life sentence, with no chance of parole for seven years.
“These are very, very difficult decisions for you to make,” assistant Crown attorney Philip Zylberberg told the judge on Thursday.
In asking the judge to consider an adult sentence, he went over the facts of the brutal murder.
“They cut her up. They tried to burn the body,” Zylberberg said.
Then they buried what remained, he said.
“We can categorize this murder and the subsequent dealing with Whitney’s remains as brutal… and perhaps go so far as to say it is horrifying,” Zylberberg said.
Defense lawyer William Beach asked the judge to sentence the young man to the maximum youth sentence, saying he has made great gains over the last two years in custody, even earning his high school diploma. Those gains could be lost if he is exposed to anti-social prisoners in the adult system, Beach said.
“I think in this case, we have more than sufficient evidence of remorse,” Beach said.
Dohlie’s family is hoping the judge sides with the Crown.
“As mean as it might sound, I would like to see (a) life (sentence), because I’m always afraid it might happen again,” said Paul Van Der Wouden, Dohlie’s father. “It doesn’t take long to go back to where you were before. Just a bottle of beer can start you back on the same track again. It depends on who he makes friends with later on if he gets out in the public.”