WARNING: This story contains details that may be disturbing to some.
The heartbroken widow of a 41-year-old woman, a Toronto mother of three and a dialysis nurse at a West End hospital, spoke directly to the two men convicted by a jury of first-degree murder and sexual assault in August earlier. of the duo were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
Speaking slowly to his eldest daughter by his side from a witness stand at Toronto Superior Court, Gerald Aquintey asked Yostin Murillo and David Beak why they killed his wife so brutally during a home robbery. of the family in East York in May 2018.
“Why? Why? Why did you do such a thing? Why couldn’t you leave when you found out someone was home? Why did you have to brutally kill her, why Mr. Beak? Why sir Murillo?
2 men guilty of first degree murder in Toronto mother’s death during burglary
Aquintey returned home from work in the early hours of the morning of May 26 to find his wife, Rhoderie Estrada, whom he called the family’s “architect,” dead in the couple’s bedroom.
Estrada’s body was partially naked, his face unrecognizable and bloody, and a crowbar lay at the foot of the bed. The couple’s three young children slept in the hallway bedrooms.
Murillo and Beak, who were 23 and 22, respectively, at the time, broke into the house and were looking to steal things. But Aquintey told the court in its victim impact statement that instead, “[stole] the life that my wife, who worked tirelessly as a dedicated mother, wife and nurse.
The couple’s eldest daughter, Jazmine Aquintey, who was only 14 at the time, held back tears as she remembered the night of her mother’s murder.
“I remember the police broke in and I yelling at the top of my lungs that we were upstairs,” he said.
Jazmine said it was only later that she spoke to her father hours later and asked, “Where’s Mommy?” who said: “Mommy is gone.”
Trial begins for 2 men accused of murdering and sexually assaulting Toronto’s mother during burglary
Jazmine told the court that she repeatedly thinks of someone breaking in before going to bed, explaining that she was diagnosed with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, and that she ended up in the emergency room more than five times since then. He also had a nagging question about why his mother was killed.
“Why, even though there was a double lock on the back door, did people come in anyway?”
In another poignant victim impact statement, written by Solita Crispin, patient care manager for the kidney program at St. Joseph’s Health Center, the effect of Estrada’s murder on her colleagues was addressed.
“As healthcare workers, we encounter the suffering, death and pain of patients in our practice. However, the nature of Rhoderie’s death remains too incomprehensible and unacceptable, ”he wrote, describing his colleague, the team leader of the dialysis unit, as a compassionate and caring person.
Then Murillo and Beak had a chance to speak. Murillo briefly apologized for the suffering he has caused, but Beak said nothing before Judge Ian MacDonnell explained the reasons for his sentencing.
Man on trial for Toronto nurse’s murder admits to hitting her with a crowbar during a robbery
MacDonnell ordered a judicial stay of the sexual assault conviction, explaining that, according to the jury’s findings, Estrada was murdered while the defendants committed a sexual assault that constitutes murder in the first degree.
He then spoke about the circumstances in which Estrada was killed, calling it “deeply disturbing.”
“Estrada was attacked by two strangers in the middle of the night at the family home that she had every reason to think was safe while her three young daughters slept,” MacDonnell said.
He called the brutality to which she was subjected as horrible and echoed what the Crown’s lawyer had said during the trial.
“What happened to Ms. Estrada is a thing of nightmares,” MacDonnell said.
“The conduct of the defendants has devastated a multitude of lives and much of that devastation may never be repaired.”
She said that Estrada herself was a victim as were her husband, children, parents, friends and colleagues, not to mention the community as a whole.
“It undermines the community’s perception of the family home as a place of safety and security,” MacDonnell said.
“Both defendants tried to attribute the beating (of Ms. Estrada) to sudden panic as they scuttled through the bedrooms looking for things to steal. They tried to characterize it as an afterthought on Mr. Beak’s part. The jury’s verdict was a clear and unequivocal rejection of those attempts ”.
He said the jury’s verdict after five days of deliberations showed that they were satisfied that “once the defendants saw Ms. Estrada in a nightgown, the robbery took a dark turn,” and said it was clear that both defendants actively participated in the murder.
“When she resisted the sexual assault, they both hit her in the face and head with a crowbar, breaking all of her facial bones,” MacDonnell said, calling the violence of the attack “nothing short of shocking.”
Murillo and Beak, who were arrested shortly after the murder, will receive a one-day credit for each day they were in custody.
After a period of time, they will both be eligible for parole in just under 22 years. They will also have to send their DNA to the national database.
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