Wolseley woman convicted in neighbour's death asks judge for mercy
WINNIPEG -- A Wolseley woman convicted of second-degree murder in the death of her neighbour will learn her parole eligibility at the end of the week.
During a sentencing hearing on Monday, Brenda Schuff, 46, cried and sobbed as she told court she was “sickened and repulsed” by her actions.
She apologized to the family of the victim, Judy Kenny, 54, 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.”
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Saull said he’s reserving his decision until Friday.
In June, a jury found Schuff guilty in the death of Kenny. The offence carries a mandatory life sentence.
The period of parole ineligibility for second-degree murder is between 10 and 25 years.
In the early morning hours of April 10, 2017, Kenny, a former CTV Winnipeg receptionist, was found dead in the kitchen of her Camden Place home. During the trial, court heard she had been beaten, stomped and stabbed 23 times.
Court heard the two neighbours didn’t know each other previously, but met hours before Kenny’s death, when Schuff helped Kenny look for a missing dog. They went back to Kenny’s home for a drink and talked before Kenny was found dead.
THE SENTENCING HEARING
The sentencing hearing began earlier in December, with the victim’s stepson telling the courtroom it was the second time he lost a mother to murder, as his birth mother was killed in August 1984.
The Crown read three other victim impact statements at the hearing written by Kenny's sister and two friends.
Crown attorney Debbie Buors told court Schuff shouldn’t become eligible for parole until serving at least 17 years of her life sentence, 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.
Schuff’s lawyer Matt Gould argued her actions were in response to something Kenny did.
“There was action taken against Ms. Schuff by Ms. Kenny,” Gould told court.
Court also heard Kenny was found nude from the waist up, and Buors said there may have been a sexual component to the murder.
Gould was dismissive of this argument, saying the defence’s position is that the shirt came off during the struggle.
- With files from CTV’s Josh Crabb.