A Nova Scotia man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2018 killing of his former partner and the mother of his child before dumping her body in eastern Ontario.
Brandon Smeltzer of Bayside, N.S., drove from Nova Scotia to Ontario with a shotgun in his trunk to kill Emilie Maheu, a 26-year-old from South Glengarry, Ont., said Justice Laurie Lacelle, who delivered her judgment Monday.
In a courtroom in Cornwall, Ont., Lacelle said Smeltzer told police he had decided to kill Maheu when he woke up one day in October 2018.
Lacelle also said Smeltzer told police he was motivated by jealousy and anger that Maheu had ended their relationship, had custody of their young daughter, and was seeing someone else.
Smeltzer lied to Maheu about having terminal cancer and described satisfaction in the pain she felt, the judge said.
Court also heard Smeltzer carried a burner cellphone instead of his personal device and removed his licence plates when he crossed the Quebec-Ontario border.
Based on Smeltzer's statements and evidence from a pathologist, Lacelle accepted as fact Smeltzer picked Maheu up from work and drove her to a remote field where he threw her into the trunk of his car, choked her before shooting her twice — in the chest and head.
Smeltzer then drove Maheu's body back to Nova Scotia before returning to hide the body in a cornfield near where Maheu was from, Lacelle said.
The defence argued Smeltzer snapped at some point during the drive and the killing happened in the moment, but Lacelle dismissed it.
The judge said Smeltzer's explanation for the shotgun, burner phone and removed licence plates — that he planned to smuggle cigarettes from the Montreal area — was rife with inconsistencies, including that he removed the licence plates in Ontario, not Quebec.
Smeltzer's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 5.