'Cold-blooded' killer gets life sentence for choking cellmate in unprovoked attack

A Calgary killer who spent the first part of his life being victimized and the next part hurting others could now be in prison until he dies.

Marlon Ledesma was found guilty of second-degree murder of Alvin Chiniquay in September 2016 while the two were being held at the Calgary Remand Centre 

On Friday, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kim Nixon sentenced Ledesma to life in prison with no chance of parole for 18 years. Earlier this year, he was handed an eight-year sentence for aggravated assault.

"The murder of Mr. Chiniquay was entirely unprovoked, it was the cold-blooded killing of a vulnerable man who could not defend himself," said Nixon in delivering Ledesma's sentence. 


Nixon noted the killer has shown no interest in rehabilitating himself and has no remorse.

He has a lengthy criminal history for violence.

A video of the killing shows Ledesma choking his victim twice, including once for seven minutes. Chiniquay died days later in hospital.

Ledesma's original murder trial was derailed when he appeared to be suffering a psychotic break.

A forensic psychiatrist ultimately found Ledesma's objective was "to be perceived as a severely mentally distorted individual," noted Nixon.

Nixon also touched on Ledesma's "tragic" upbringing; he was taken by social services, first as an infant. After he was returned to his mother, he was abused by his stepfather. He was seized again after his mother stabbed her partner.

In 2011, Ledesma's mother, Cherry Ledesma, was beaten to death by her boyfriend, Gregory Houle. 

A second-degree murder conviction comes with a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 to 25 years.

Prosecutor Todd Buziak argued for a 20-year parole ineligibility period while defence lawyer Andrea Serink proposed 12 to 14 years before Ledesma could seek release.