No parole for 15 years for Wolseley woman convicted of killing neighbour
Brenda Schuff leaving the law courts during the trial. (Source: Josh Crabb/CTV News Winnipeg)
WINNIPEG -- A Wolseley woman convicted of second-degree murder in the death of her neighbour won’t be eligible for parole for 15 years.
In June, Brenda Schuff, 46, was found guilty in the death of 54-year-old Judy Kenny. This offence carries a mandatory life sentence. On Friday, a judge sentenced Schuff to no parole for 15 years with credit for time served.
In the early morning of April 10, 2017, Kenny, who was a former CTV receptionist, was found dead in the kitchen of her Camden Place home. During the trial, court heard she had been beaten, stomped at stabbed 23 times.
The two women didn’t previously know each other, but met hours before Kenny’s death when Schuff helped her look for a missing dog. Court heard they went back to Kenny’s house for a drink and talked before Kenny was found dead.
THE SENTENCING HEARING
The sentencing hearing began on Dec. 4, with the victim’s stepson telling court it’s the second time he’s lost a mother to murder, as his birth mom was killed in 1984.
The Crown read three other victim impact statements at the hearing written by Kenny's sister and two friends.
Crown attorney Debbie Buors said Schuff shouldn’t become eligible for parole until she has served at least 17 years, noting it was a “brutal attack” with “significant violence.”
Buors told court Schuff had no previous criminal record, no known history of violence and was of previous good character. She noted a pre-sentence report found a history of family violence during Schuff’s childhood that could have led to “learned behaviours of violence.” Buors argued all of these factors have to be balanced with what happened to Kenny.
“It isn’t out of character for [Schuff] because she did it,” Buors told court. “We have to look at what she did. She is capable of violence,” she said.
Matt Gould, Schuff’s lawyer, argued her actions were a response to something Kenny did.
“There was action taken against Ms. Schuff by Ms. Kenny,” Gould told court.
The hearing continued on Dec. 30, with Schuff crying and sobbing as she told court she was “sickened and repulsed” by her actions. She apologized to Kenny’s family and asked the judge for leniency.
“I come to you humbly before this court to offer an apology,” Schuff told court, after she broke into tears. “To Judy Kenny’s family and friends, I am so terribly sorry.
“I ask for mercy, sir. I will do whatever it takes. I will attend whatever programming necessary, whatever counselling necessary.”
'SEXUAL COMPONENT' TO MURDER, CROWN ARGUES
Court also heard Kenny was found nude from the waist up, and Buors said there may have been a sexual component to the murder.
“I would submit to the court there’s evidence that is troubling about the state of undress of Ms. Kenny,” Buors told court.
Gould was dismissive of this argument, saying the defence’s position is that the shirt came off during the struggle.
“In terms of the shirt being taken off — I don’t agree with that terminology,” Gould told court. “Our position is the shirt came off during the struggle.”
A decision on the sentencing is expected Friday at noon.
- With files from CTV’s Josh Crabb.