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Sentencing for double-murderer pushed back until the spring
A pre-trial conference before sentencing of the confessed killer of local women Karrie Ann Stone and Tyeshia Jones will take place Feb. 4, 2014 in Victoria.
The new date on second-degree murder charges facing Cowichan's William Gordon Robert Elliott was determined Monday. Elliott appeared via video for proceedings in Victoria.
A possible sentencing date will now be April 14, 2014 in Duncan but could depend on a variety of circumstances, conceded an official with the Supreme Court of B.C.'s scheduling division.
In July, Crown said it would seek a maximum sentence in the murders of Jones and Stone after the court finally heard details of the high-profile 2010 and 2011 killings of the two Duncan women.
Elliott pleaded guilty July 19 to the second-degree murders.
Duncan Judge Keith Bracken had been expected to rule Dec. 16 on Elliott's parole-eligibility date of anywhere between 10 and 25 years.
'"Elliott will get an automatic life sentence, but the court will determine how long he'll serve before being eligible for parole," Crown Neil MacKenzie told the News Leader Pictorial back in July.
Elliott has remained in custody.
"When sentenced on a murder charge, parole eligibility commences from when he went into custody," MacKenzie explained.
Bracken also ordered a pre-sentencing psychiatric report for Elliott, a married father and Duncan resident.
He was initially charged with the first-degree murder. Crown agreed to accept the second-degree charges, MacKenzie has noted.
Elliott was 24 when arrested on April 20, 2012.
Stone was 42, fighting addiction problems, and living at Duncan's Super 8 Motel when she went missing on July 7, 2010. Her burnt remains were found in a wooded area of Glenora on July 12, 2010.
Jones was 18 when she went missing on Jan. 22, 2011. Her naked, unburnt body was recovered from a wooded area off Duncan's Indian Road on Jan. 28, 2011.
Police first believed the two homicides weren't connected, but later learned differently after investigators of both murders invented an undercover crime-boss operation, Crown lawyer Scott Van Alstine has said.
Elliott was recruited into the fake crime organization where all players were undercover cops. He, ultimately, revealed details of his crimes.
Elliott told how, when his wife was out of town, he picked up Stone, took her home and had consensual sex. When Stone threatened to tell his wife, Elliott hit her on the head with a baseball bat, the court heard.
"He put her in the back of his pickup truck along with a can of gasoline. He drove to a remote area of Duncan, into the woods. He poured gas over her and set her on fire. She was alive at the outset while she burned," Van Alstine has said.
DNA from Stone's body was matched to Elliott, who provided a sample Feb. 19, 2011. Police obtained a warrant, searched his home, and took wall swabs of a blood-like stain that contained Stone's DNA, court has heard.
In the Jones killing, Elliott told the fake crime boss he accidentally hit Jones with his truck while she was going to meet a friend at Duncan's Superstore. Elliott put Jones in the back of his pickup, then drove behind the Shaker cemetery, along a dirt track leading to the woods.
"She was alive and he attempted to sexually assault her," explained Crown. "He took her clothes off and choked her with her own bra. He hit her on the head, her teeth and her eyes with a stick and left her there. Then he took her clothes and burned them," Van Alstine said.
Elliott re-enacted the killings for the crime boss, Crown said, and voluntarily produced a bag of items linked to Stone's murder. That sack contained her upper denture plate, and a baseball bat holding her DNA.
Elliott was arrested shortly afterward, and told RCMP what he told the crime boss was true.
Elliott has apologized to Stone and Jim during a private meeting, MacKenzie has said.