'He was in so much pain:' Victim's daughter confronts Edmonton warehouse stabber

By The Canadian Press
March 31, 2017 - 1:15am

EDMONTON — The daughter of one of two men stabbed to death in a grocery warehouse confronted her father's killer Friday before he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Patricia Harris made a point of staring directly at Jayme Pasieka as she shared her rage and sadness in an Edmonton courtroom.

"I cannot understand why your murdered my father," she said in a loud and confident voice as she read her victim impact statement.

"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 stab wounds from your Grim Reaper blades."

Pasieka, who has schizophrenia, attacked and killed Fitzroy Harris, 50, and Thierno Bah, 41, at a Loblaw grocery warehouse where they all worked on Feb. 28, 2014. Four others were badly injured.

A jury earlier this month found him guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Before the sentence was handed down, court heard from some of the victims' relatives.

Harris was asked to edit her statement before she gave it. Outside court, she said she removed parts in which she compared Pasieka to Satan.

Nine-year-old Kiara Harris said her grandfather was a nice man who didn't deserve to die.

"Ever since my papa died there has always been an empty spot in me," she said in her hand-printed statement read in court.

Djenaba Haidara, the wife of Bah, said their four children pine for the love of their father. One son has been so despondent, he attempted suicide.

"My son wants to die. He wants to be with his father," she said in a statement read out in French.

Prosecutor Kim Goddard said the Crown did not ask that Pasieka's parole eligibility be doubled to 50 years because of legal rulings that have found sentences must take into account the effects of mental illness.

Pasieka, 33, stared into space during the hearing and showed no emotion when the sentence was handed down.

Outside court, Goddard said Pasieka will probably spend the rest of his life in custody.

"For principles of fundamental justice, you just shouldn't sentence a mentally ill accused to the same level of responsibility as someone who is not," she said.

Much of the case focused on whether Pasieka was capable of planning the attack and intended to kill his co-workers.

Pasieka testified in his own defence that he had given up on life, was hearing voices and hoped that if he stabbed people he would get the help he needed.

A forensic psychiatrist testified that Pasieka would have understood that inflicting severe injury on someone would have led to death. The psychiatrist also said Pasieka was capable of making choices.

Justice Donna Shelley of Court of Queen's Bench said she will recommend that Pasieka serve his sentence at the federal psychiatric facility in Saskatoon.

She expressed her condolences to the families for the tremendous amount of pain and anxiety they have suffered.

"The effects are profound and ongoing," she said. "I hope people will seek help."

John Cotter, The Canadian Press

Six stories in the news today, March 31