Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut December 06, 2013 - 5:18 pm

Nunavut court to decide spouse-killer’s parole ineligibility Dec. 9

Lawyers present Justice Earl Johnson with range of 12 to 15 years

PETER VARGA
Justice Earl Johnson will rule Dec. 9 on Adrian Van Eindhoven's period of parole ineligibility. A 12-person jury has already found him guilty of second degree murder in Leanne Irkotee's brutal stabbing death. (FILE PHOTO)
Justice Earl Johnson will rule Dec. 9 on Adrian Van Eindhoven's period of parole ineligibility. A 12-person jury has already found him guilty of second degree murder in Leanne Irkotee's brutal stabbing death. (FILE PHOTO)

Following a sentencing hearing in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit Dec. 6, when lawyers presented options ranging from 12 to 15 years, Justice Earl Johnson said he would rule Dec. 9 on convicted murderer Adrian Van Eindhoven’s period of parole ineligibility.

Crown and defence lawyers each rejected a recommendation made by a 12-member jury last October.

After finding Van Eindhoven guilty of second-degree murder, the jury recommended the maximum allowable under the law — no parole eligibility for the first 25 years of imprisonment.

The jury first recommended no parole, but the Criminal Code does not allow that.

Both lawyers agreed that life imprisonment “is already harsh,” as Crown prosecutor Nick Devlin put it. Devlin submitted that 15 years without parole was “adequate.”

Defence lawyer Laura Stevens, who called for parole after no more than 12 years, submitted that the jury must have been “unwilling to follow instructions” on how much parole they could recommend in their verdict.

Van Eindhoven, 39, was convicted of second-degree murder Oct. 15, in the brutal stabbing death of his common-law spouse in 2004.

He first stood trial for murder in 2007, in Rankin Inlet. Van Eindhoven was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

But that conviction was overturned in 2012 by the Nunavut Court of Appeal, which ordered a new trial.

Evidence given at the trial revealed that Van Eindhoven inflicted a savage beating on Irkotee and eventually stabbed her to death.

In her final statement, Stevens highlighted Van Eindhoven’s troubles with alcohol and painkillers early in his adult life as one source of his troubles.

A gunshot wound he sustained to one of his legs at 21 years led to almost “one and a half years of operations.”

“The damage to his nerves was irreparable, and he was in a great deal of pain,” she said, adding that addiction to alcohol worsened his overall physical and psychological health in his 20s.

Stevens pointed out that her client had overcome his addiction while in custody, through Alcoholics Anonymous, and took part in other programs in jail to restore his health.

In his final statement to the court, Van Eindhoven stood and spoke in a low voice. He expressed his regret over the incident that took place more than nine years ago, and led to two murder trials and several years of imprisonment outside the territory.

“I didn’t realize how much damage I did,” Van Eindhoven told Justice Johnson. “I know if I didn’t beat Leanne, she would still be around today.”

“I did not stab her, but as a result of my actions, she’s gone.”

“I will consider the appropriate sentences this weekend,” Johnson said.

Johnson then adjourned the sentencing hearing to Dec. 9 at 9:30 a.m.

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