Man sentenced for killing Toronto grandma
TORONTO - A cash-strapped grocery store clerk who fatally stabbed his 81-year-old neighbour and then shopped at her expense will spend at least 15 years in prison, a judge ruled Monday.
Mohammad Hamadeh, 44, repeatedly stabbed Marion Lyons "in a rage" after she refused to give him money, Judge Michael Dambrot said in sentencing Hamadeh for second-degree murder.
A jury found Hamadeh guilty in March. He was automatically sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Lyons on Jan. 6, 2009.
Crown attorney Susan Ientile said Hamadeh exploited a trusting, independent woman and stabbed her more than 91 times, using three different weapons.
Lyons had tried to help Hamadeh with preparing resumes and job applications, but she told others she thought he'd be asking her for cash. And the answer to that request would be no, Dambrot said.
After leaving Lyons in a pool of blood, Hamadeh then used her credit card to ring up purchases of more than $1,400 over two days, court heard.
"I don't imagine that he killed her to take her credit card. But his use of her credit card is strong evidence of his indifference and his callousness towards his crime," Dambrot said.
"He made crude attempts to cover up the (crime) scene."
Hamadeh owed $30,000 in credit card bills.
"He appeared in his evidence to be somewhat simple-minded and financially irresponsible...he lived on maxed-out credit cards," Dambrot said.
Hamadeh and Lyons, who lived on the 12th floor of an apartment building, were once on friendly terms, court heard.
Their relationship had soured in the months leading up to her death as he revealed his financial woes.
It was the second trial for the father of three.
In February 2011, a mistrial was declared after a jury couldn't render a unanimous verdict after seven days of deliberations. The jury in the second trial reached its verdict after only one day of deliberations.
Lyons' son Randy and granddaughter Kirstie found her body on Jan. 8, 2009.
"She was the person I wanted to be: Strong, independent and smart," Kirstie said in her victim impact statement.