Windsor man sentenced to life in prison for killing of Sara Anne Widholm on Ganatchio Trail

·2 min read

Habibullah Ahmadi has been sentenced to ilife in prison with no eligibility for parole for at least 13 years for the killing of a Windsor woman on a popular nature trail in 2017.

Ahmadi, 24-year-old Windsor man, had been convicted of second-degree murder after a two week trial late last year.

Ahmadi was originally charged with aggravated assault after Sara Anne Widholm, a 75-year-old Windsor woman, was found unconscious near the Ganatchio trail in east Windsor.

The charge was changed to second-degree after Widholm died of her injuries in 2018.

In his remarks, Justice Bruce Thomas called what happened a "brutal attack." He recounted details of the assault, and said that Ahmadi repeatedly struck Widholm's head, which damaged her brain beyond repair.

Though it was established during the trial that Ahmadi was under the influence of magic mushrooms and marijuana, Thomas said that Ahmadi was still in a state of mind to understand his surroundings and what he was doing.

Ahmadi, who was 21 at the time and had no prior criminal record, told police following the attack that he was blacked out and afraid of Widholm.

Justice Thomas also spoke of the victim, whom he called a loving mother, grandmother, and supporter of her church.

The two-week trial, which took place in Sept. 2020, was conducted over Zoom.

Justice Thomas said he considered victim impact statements and also a community impact statement from Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens in his sentencing.

He said Dilkins' statement — which some in the legal community considered inappropriate— only emphasizes what he already knew, that a crime like this in a popular recreational area brings anxiety to the community at large. And with no apparent motive, it only increases the impact

Justice Thomas added that he believes Ahmadi has good prospects for rehabilitation.

In a statement to CBC News, the crown attorney said, "Justice Thomas heard all of the facts and applied the law to determine a fit parole in eligibility period in the circumstances of this horrible case. I respect his decision."

Patricia Brown, the lawyer representing Ahmadi, did not respond to a request for comment.