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UPDATED: Elliott makes tearful apology to victims' mothers
The families of Karrie Ann Stone and Tyeshia Jones watched in painful silence Tuesday as video footage was screened in court showing their murderer apologize to their mothers.
That taped April 21, 2012 meeting saw a tearful William Gordon Robert Elliott apologize to Bev Stone and Mary Jim in a sterile interview room, with an official present.
"Words can't change what happened," Elliott said, in a near whisper, "but I'm truly sorry for taking your loved ones from your lives, and I pray for your forgiveness; I'm sorry."
Bev Stone asked Elliott if her daughter knew what Elliott was going to do to her.
"I didn't know what I was going to do," he answered.
"Karrie Ann was a very kind person," Bev Stone told him. "This is something you'll have to live with for the rest of your life; same as us. I hope you find peace within yourself."
The Crown intends to seek the maximum sentence prior to parole in the murders.
"In other words, 25 years," prosecutor Scott Van Alstine told the court Monday morning as the sentencing hearing got underway in the Duncan courthouse.
Elliott, a thick-set man in his mid-20s, with gelled dark hair and a black shirt, sat in the prisoners' box before a courtroom full of observers, including friends and family of each victim, and visiting media.
Last July he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, one in the July 2010 killing of Stone, 42, the other in the January 2011 death of Jones, 18.
Van Alstine opened the hearing by detailing the evidence surrounding the Stone murder.
Elliott told undercover police officers he had taken Stone to his home for sex. He said when she threatened to tell his wife, he bashed her over the head with a baseball bat, took her to a remote area of Glenora and burned her while she was still alive.
The court heard a denture plate found near Stone's body matched another that was in Elliott's possession, and how her DNA matched that found on Elliott's bat and in a stain on a wall of his house.
Van Alstine's co-counsel in the case, Laura Ford, was expected to present the evidence surrounding the Jones murder to Judge Keith Bracken Monday afternoon.
The court previously heard Elliott 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.
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.
After the Crown wraps up its case, defence lawyer Scott Sheets is expected to present his arguments.
The judge will be asked to take into account a Gladue Report detailing circumstances of Elliott's Aboriginal heritage that may be relevant to the sentencing. He will also receive victim impact statements.
The hearings are scheduled to continue until Friday.