A mother whose son was beaten to death in 2008 made an emotional victim impact statement in front of the man found guilty in Daniel Levesque's death after the verdict came down in a Calgary courtroom Saturday.
The jury found 28-year-old Sheldon Worme guilty of first-degree murder.
"I forgive you and I pray this forgiveness with set you free," said Linda Levesque as Worme bowed his head.
When it came time for him to address the court, Worme looked over at the three rows of Daniel Levesque's family members who had been crying as the verdict was read out.
"I'm very sorry for this happening," he said.
Worme was convicted of participating in the 2008 beating death of Levesque for the purpose of robbing him.
Two other men — Derek Campeau and Aaron Lee Stevens — have yet to face trial on the same charge.
Another woman was convicted of accessory after the fact for dumping evidence in Fish Creek.
In Canada, a first degree murder charge comes with an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Worme has already been sentenced, but his lawyer hasn't indicated if she plans on appealing.
Linda described her son as athletic, artistic and creative — a loving father of two who loved to draw, paint, play piano and hike.
She said Daniel lived his life with passion.
"Whatever he did, he did with all his heart," she told the court, adding he was a good listener and a loyal friend who "sought and found the good in people."
Linda told the court she sat with her son on a park bench together just weeks before his death.
"It was one of life's golden moments and it would be the last time I'd see Daniel alive and feel his hug," she said.
"We all struggle to create a new normal without him.... We ache to know how his life would have unfolded."
In the days after his death, Linda said "profound sorrow hung like a black cloud."
"True justice will be served only in the healing of our hearts," she told the court.
Linda addressed Worme saying, "you extinguished the life of his body but not his spirit."
Crown prosecutor Cary Rodin said Linda's statement was very powerful and compassionate.
"Certainly one of the most moving moments in my life," she said.
Rodin said this trial is a wonderful example of a justice system that Canadians should be proud of.
"So that's something to think about on Thanksgiving," she said.
"My thoughts are with the family and their healing and I think today was a significant step towards that."
On June 29, 2008, police responded to the 11400 block of Braniff Road S.W. and found the body of Levesque, 29, in the basement of his townhouse.
Levesque, a carpenter, husband and father of two, died as a result of blunt force trauma, said police.
Defence lawyer Tonii Roulston said the jury took two nights and three days to make their decision.
"So they've obviously put a lot of thought into it, of course we're grateful for that and we'll just assess our next step going forward," she said.