For having strangled his spouse on December 30, 2012, and hiding the body in a wardrobe, Juan Fermin Palma will have to serve 14 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. This is the decision that Judge Éric Downs made on Thursday in Montreal.
Built like an ice cabinet, the 36-year-old man did not show anything when the sentence was pronounced. Initially, he was accused of the premeditated murder of Pamela Jean. At the end of his trial, the jury found him guilty of unpremeditated murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, but it was up to the judge to set the period of parole ineligibility. It had to oscillate between 10 and 25 years. Taking into account the aggravating and mitigating factors, the judge fixed it at 14 years.
The victim was 27 years old at the time of his death. She and Palma had been dating for 12 years. They had a son together. In spite of everything, everyone remained with their respective parents. Mrs. Jean had the child with her. The latter is now a teenager.
In 2012, in recent months, the couple beat the wing. Palma did not work, drank, took drugs and kept asking money from M me Jean. She had had enough. She had met another man, but she hesitated to leave Palma. At the end of December, she wanted to give her a last chance. After an evening in the bars, she and Palma went back to the parents of the latter, to spend the night there. Palma’s room was in the basement. During the night, during a dispute, he strangled her, then hid the body under tires, in the wardrobe.
In the following days, the woman’s family alerted the police. Palma sent the police on a false trail, saying he had not seen M me Jean since the infamous night. But then, surveillance cameras showed that he was trying to withdraw money with Ms. Jean’s bank card.
On 4 January, the police returned to Palma’s parents, searched the house, and found the body.
M e James Dawson, who represented the accused suggested to fix the mandatory period of imprisonment to 12 years, while Ms. Catherine Perreault, prosecutors, suggested between 15 and 17 years. Palma expressed remorse and asked for forgiveness. He was blinded by the accursed drugs, he said, at the previous hearing.
Members of both families were present on Thursday.