Mark Grant gets maximum sentence for killing of teen Candace Derksen
Published Thursday, May 26, 2011 6:10PM CST
During sentencing Thursday, a judge handed Mark Grant the maximum of 25 years in jail before he's eligible for parole.
Grant was found guilty in February of second-degree murder for the death of Candace Derksen, 13. Her body was found frozen and bound in a shed, weeks after she went missing in November 1984.
In May 2007, Grant was arrested for Derksen's death after a cold-case police unit began investigating the case.
Justice Glenn Joyal ruled in court to allow pre-sentencing materials in Grant's case.
The Crown said Grant is a troubled person who acts out his anger in primitive, uncontrolled ways.
The Crown said Grant was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 12, but has refused at times to take medication, claiming it lowers his libido. The Crown said when Grant is off his medication, he has violent sexual fantasies.
Grant won't be eligible for parole until the year 2036 under the sentence handed down Thursday.
"Will it really help (Grant), personally? Yeah, he's paying for what he did. He made wrong decisions, but it's sad," said Cliff Derksen, Candace's father.
The Crown said Grant, 47, has accumulated 23 past convictions and has spent more than 20 years in jail.
Grant told court officials he believes he is the devil and he hears voices.
The Crown said there is no adequate level of community supervision to protect the public from Grant.
The Crown had also been asking that Grant not become eligible for parole for 25 years, rather than the minimum of 10 years.
The defence had argued Grant should be made eligible for parole in 12 – 14 years.
Before the judge made his decision, he gave Grant an opportunity to speak to the court, which Grant refused.
Sister Tina Uhrick has been working with Grant for three years and said she believes he's innocent.
"I just feel that he needs a friend," she said.
In the past, Grant has told staff that all women are the same and they deserve to be treated like dirt, and that he gets enjoyment out of watching victims squirm.
Derksen's family members cried and hugged one another after the sentencing decision was announced in court Thursday.
Outside the Law Courts, relatives spoke with media.
"Taking a child to that awful shed is wrong. And we need to say that too. We need to say that with tears in our eyes," said Wilma Derksen, Candace's mother.
Justice Glenn Joyal described the murder as senseless and unspeakably cruel.
- with a report from CTV's Stacey Ashley