Man who killed co-workers in Edmonton warehouse rampage sentenced to life in prison

Man who killed co-workers in Edmonton warehouse rampage sentenced to life in prison

Jayme Pasieka was sentenced Friday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for a stabbing rampage at an Edmonton Loblaws warehouse that left two of his co-workers dead.

He was found guilty on March 3 of two counts of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and four counts of aggravated assault.

Pasieka, 33, who has schizophrenia, killed two co-workers and badly injured four other men at the warehouse shortly before he was arrested on Feb. 28, 2014.

Thierno Bah, 41, and Fitzroy Harris, 50, died in the attack.

During the sentencing hearing Friday, Crown prosecutor Kim Goddard told the court that because of Pasieka's mental health, she would not be seeking consecutive life sentences. Pasieka's lawyer Peter Royal agreed.  

Justice Donna Shelley accepted the lawyers' submissions.  

"I agree with the Crown," Shelley said. "The Alberta Court of Appeal has made it clear that the presence of a mental illness is to be considered a factor in sentencing."

Outside court, Goddard said she didn't think the parole ineligibility date would have much impact.  

"In the long run with respect to Mr. Pasieka, I don't think it makes that much of a difference," she said. "He's clearly still seriously ill."

'Why did you have to do it?'

The most emotional moments of the sentencing hearing came during a victim impact statement delivered by Patricia Harris. Her father, Fitzroy Harris, died after Pasieka stabbed him repeatedly.

"I cannot understand why you murdered my father," she said. "Why did you have to stab him so many times? He was in so much pain, he was already bleeding out so much after eight, nine,10 stabs from your grim reaper blades."

Fitzroy Harris also left behind a daughter who is now nine years old.  A family friend read the victim impact statement carefully printed by Kiara Harris.

"He was a very nice man," she wrote. "He didn't deserve to get killed … I wish I got to say my last word to him before he left."

Court also heard a victim impact statement written by Djenaba Bah, the widow of Thierno Bah.

The statement was delivered by a family friend who translated it from French into English.

In it, Bah described her husband as a "wonderful friend," adding: "The happiness has left me."

She wrote. "My joy. My love. He will always remain in our hearts."

Bah described her husband as a stable family man who loved his four children. He liked to say his kids made him feel "very rich," like a millionaire, court heard.

"Thierno was a model for all of us," the statement said. "My kids do not have this model anymore. Our household is in shambles. Every day has become a day of surviving. We are trying to survive."

Bah's widow said one of her sons was only a year old at the time of the killing and will never "be able to see the love and the joy from his father."

Pasieka's mental health played a pivotal role in the trial, namely whether his schizophrenia affected his ability to plan the killings.

During the trial Pasieka testified he had given up on life, was hearing voices and hoped that if he stabbed people he would get help for his "suffering."

Shelley agreed with a defence request to recommend a transfer for Pasieka to serve his sentence at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon.