Woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of Edmonton grandma who was beaten, robbed in her home – Edmonton | The Canadian News

WARNING: The details in this story are graphic and may disturb some readers

A trial was set to begin Tuesday for Cynthia Hamelin, a 51-year-old woman accused of first-degree murder in the death of an Edmonton senior who was unknown to her.

Instead, Hamelin pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in the July 2019 attack.

At that time, Hamelin was out on bail for charges related to breaking into seniors’ homes.

Some of the conditions of her release included remaining in her approved residence around the clock – with few exceptions —and staying at least 50 meters away from any seniors residence.

Instead, she violated both of those conditions and on July 20, 2019, went to the Piazza Italia Seniors’ Residence.

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Hamelin started pushing buzzers, trying to get inside the apartment building in the central Edmonton McCauley neighborhood.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Hamelin pretended to be a tenant and said she’d lost her keys until someone eventually buzzed her into the building on 108a Avenue, near 95 Street.

Once inside, she admitted to trying various door handles to find ones that were unlocked.

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At one point, the then-49-year-old entered a senior man’s apartment without permission and sat in his living room chair, again pretending to be a new resident.

Court heard she asked the man for a tissue, and when he went to retrieve one, she stole his wallet and left.

Eventually she ran into 83-year-old Giuseppina Micieli, who was talking out of her garbage.

Giuseppina Micieli, 83, died on Aug. 26, 2019, after being beaten in her own home by a woman with a history of stealing from seniors.

Credit / Serenity Funeral Service

Hamelin said she needed to use her bathroom and invited herself into Micieli’s suite. Micieli followed her and saw her stealing jewelry from her bedroom.

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Court heard Hamelin asked the senior where she kept her money. When she said she did not have any, Hamelin kicked her in the leg, knocking Miciele to the ground.

She then repeatedly stomped on the senior’s ribs, kicking and punching her all over her body.

Hamelin covered her mouth to stifle the senior’s screams and then grabbed her by the hair and repeatedly beat her head into the ground.

With Micieli unable to get up, Hamelin rifled through the suite, taking various items including three rings right off Micieli’s hand.

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Meanwhile, neighbors who had been alerted to the commotion were trying to get inside to help – but Hamelin had locked the door.

Ten minutes after entering the suite, Hamelin opened the door, pushed past the neighbors and ran away. She was captured on surveillance cameras entering and exiting the suite.

The neighbors called one of Micieli’s daughters, who rushed over with her granddaughter and called 911.

Micieli was taken to an Edmonton hospital with a broken hip, five broken ribs, and bruising all over her body.

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Court heard the grandmother died in hospital 37 days later – on Aug. 26, 2019 – from pneumonia caused by the blunt force injuries inflicted during the assault.

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Hamelin was arrested three days after the break-in.

Using a search warrant to enter Hamelin’s home, police recovered the unique clothing spotted on Piazza Italia’s surveillance cameras.

While in custody, Hamelin called her boyfriend and said she was going to pin the crime on another woman. She called an anonymous tip line and did just that, telling the call taker “they’ve got the wrong person.”

Hamelin has been in custody since 2019.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 16, when court will hear victim impact statements, as well as the findings of a Gladue report looking at Hamelin’s upbringing and family history.

A Gladue report is a pre-sentencing and bail hearing report that Canadian courts can request when they’re considering the sentence for an offender of Indigenous ancestry.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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