Danielle Lidguerre has been sentenced to eight years in prison for delivering a single, fatal stab wound to her partner's heart on June 30, 2018.
She stabbed 31-year old Lindsay Voyer during a drunken fight over custody of their two children, aged four and six, at their home in Shellbrook, Sask.
"The two were involved in a common law relationship that was fraught with violence and substance abuse," said Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Addabor. "There was an argument over separation."
Court documents detail previous violence between the two. At the time of his death, Voyer was under court-imposed conditions not to have contact with Lidguerre. He had previously been convicted of assaulting her and had one assault charge pending. She admitted to giving him a "shiner" one time during their relationship.
The judge at the Court of Queen's Bench in Prince Albert accepted the joint submission of eight years. With time served, Lidguerre will spend another five and a half years in prison.
Lidguerre, 34, was initially charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter. She initially attempted to deflect the responsibility onto random intruders.
RCMP were called to the home around 3:00 a.m. CST after a reported stabbing on June 30, 2018. When police arrived, Voyer's dad was already there, performing CPR on him. EMS also attempted to save his life, but pronounced him dead at the scene.
Lidguerre told police that she told them she was downstairs feeding the girls when she heard the victim say "ow." She described hearing a thump, like a body hitting the floor.
When she went to investigate, she said two masked men ran past her, with one telling her to keep her mouth shut.
Police did not find signs of forced entry or a major struggle, and Voyer's wallet remained in his pocket. They found a black-handled steak knife in the neighbours yard — within throwing distance from the front door of the home.
Police said they found the knife in the yard because Lidguerre repeatedly glanced in its direction while speaking with an officer. Lidguerre also told varying versions of what had happened to her neighbours.
Furthermore, on the initial 911 call she sounded like she was crying hysterically, apologizing to the victim and appeared to be taking responsibility for the act.
About one month after the killing, she confessed to stabbing her partner, Voyer and chucking the knife away. She was described as being very emotional and recorded a video apology for his parents.
Victim impact statement
Bev Shumlich wrote about the heartbreak of family and friends in a victim impact statement filed with the court. She said the sentencing process was overwhelming and provided little closure.
"When you get out Lindsay will still be dead, the girls will still be dealing with the horror of losing their dad and knowing that their mom killed their dad."
Shumlich said her life was intertwined with Voyer's and that he called her Auntie Bev. She detailed the difficulty faced by Voyer's parents and the couple's children in the aftermath of the incident.
"I watch a family that has so much love and support to give struggle daily to just hold it all together," she said. "There is a hole there that nothing can fill."