A Rocky Mountain House father will be sentenced next week for shooting his partner's sister.
On a Friday night in July 2019, Alexis Ames's life was forever changed.
The young mother fought for her life when her common-law partner Marshall Stone tried to shoot her in the kitchen of their Rocky Mountain House townhome.
The first shot missed.
When Stone reloaded, Ames' sister Ashley moved between the couple. Stone shot Ashley in the eye. Moments later after everyone fled, he shot her in the back of the head.
Later, Alexis told the author of a report ordered by the court that it was like the "devil" got inside Stone that night and that he "snapped".
Stone, 47, pleaded guilty in June to second-degree murder and unlawfully discharging a firearm. The murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for ten to 25 years.
At a sentencing hearing in Red Deer on Tuesday, Crown prosecutor Greg Gordon asked for 15 years of parole ineligibility.
"The killing of Ashley Ames was not an impulsive act," Gordon told the court. "The circumstances are egregious."
The prosecutor called the second shot "callous'.
He pointed out that three young children were in the next room when the shooting occurred, noting that Ashley's young son did not witness the violence first-hand, but he had to run through the kitchen area to get out of the house "where his mother was now dying".
According to a psychological assessment, Stone's actions that night appeared to be out of character and could have been fuelled by the six to eight beers he had consumed.
Alexis Ames confirmed there was no history of domestic violence. She described Stone as a good father and provider.
In her victim impact statement, Alexis said her world has been turned upside down by the murder.
"I'll never understand what made you flip that night, but you have to know deep down inside that I would have been with you till the end of time," she wrote. "I won't get my sister back, my life back and three children's lives have been forever changed."
Defence lawyer Walter Raponi suggested that the shooting occurred in the spur of the moment and that his client remembers very little of what took place that night.
"He's deeply remorseful beyond his mere guilty plea," Raponi said. "He takes full responsibility for his actions and expresses remorse to the victims and the children who witnessed the event."
Raponi asked Red Deer Court of Queen's Bench Justice Monica Bast to impose a life sentence with no chance of parole for 12 years.
"He is disgusted with himself for taking someone else's life," Raponi said.
Stone told a psychologist preparing a report that he deeply regrets killing Ashley.
"She was my best friend and co-worker," Stone said. "I was there for the birth of her son. We were like brother and sister."
He admitted that in the month leading up to the shooting, he was drinking heavily, was worried about his job and had back taxes to pay.
Stone said he's been sober since he was taken into custody on the night of the murder.
When the judge asked him Tuesday if he had anything to say, Stone told the court, "I am very sorry for even having to be here today.
"I would never wish it on anyone else."
The judge will hand down her sentencing decision on October 15.