Two days after brutally murdering a Calgary woman on a southeast street corner, police found a teenager from the city lying on the side of the road in an incoherent state, the court heard Wednesday.
But it wasn’t until 13 years later that technology finally caught up with the killer, whose name cannot be identified because he was a young man at the time, Crown Prosecutor Carla MacPhail said.
The offender, now 31, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder in the Aug. 5, 2007, slaying of Tara Anne Landgraf, who was repeatedly stabbed while walking in the Ramsay community.
He had been charged with first-degree murder in Landgraf’s death, which went unsolved for more than a decade.
MacPhail told Juvenile Court Judge Todd LaRochelle that Landgraf, 37, was staying at the now-demolished Shamrock Hotel with her boyfriend when she left her room around midnight the day she was killed.
“Millisecond. Landgraf left the hotel room around midnight,” he said, reading from a statement of agreed facts signed by the offender and his attorney, Gavin Wolch.
“Her boyfriend never saw her alive again.”
Sometime between midnight and 5 am, the teenager attacked Landgraf, stabbing her repeatedly.
“(The offender) attacked Ms. Landgraf with a knife in a park bordered by Burns Avenue, Alexander Street and Ramsay Street,” MacPhail said.
“(He) stabbed Ms. Landgraf in a small wooded area located in the park on the southwest corner of the intersection of Burns Avenue and Alexander Street. Mrs. Landgraf fled across the street to the southeast corner where she (her attacker of hers) stabbed her again.”
The prosecutor said the victim was stabbed 21 times in the head, neck, chest, upper back and left arm.
The woman’s lifeless body was discovered on the street corner by an off-duty firefighter and his wife shortly after 5 a.m.
The offender was not arrested until February 5, 2021, after he became a suspect through genetic genealogy and a DNA sample taken from him matched material left at the scene.
He later confessed to stabbing Landgraf to an undercover police officer.
MacPhail said that at the time of the murder, the teen was struggling with addiction issues and sometimes lived in youth housing in the area.
In fact, the police took care of him two days after the murder, but did not link him to Landgraf’s murder.
“Two days after stabbing Ms. Landgraf (he) was found by CPS lying on the side of a road,” the prosecutor said.
“(The offender) had no idea where he was, he smelled strongly of alcohol, his pupils were dilated and he could not speak coherently or walk on his own.”
LaRochelle ordered pre-sentence reports ahead of the teen’s sentencing hearing in October.
While MacPhail had previously given notice of the Crown’s intention to seek an adult sentence, he told the judge that he anticipates a joint proposal for a juvenile sentence will be made.
The offender remains in custody pending that hearing.
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