The families of three murder victims are talking of prayer and forgiveness but not closure as they brace for the Lethbridge killer's sentencing Tuesday.

If Justice Rodney Jerke accepts the joint submission from the prosecution and defence, Austin Vielle will not be allowed to apply for parole until he has served 20 years of his life sentence. 

On Monday, Vielle, 24, pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder for the gruesome attack on Kyle Devine, 27; his girlfriend, Clarissa English, 24; and her brother, Dakota English, 18.

"His last words to me were 'I love you dad,'" said Allen Devine, whose son visited him the day before he died. "I felt good because you know when your child loves you."

"There will never be closure. Not for me."

The three were found dead in the Lethbridge townhouse they shared as roommates in April 2015. The victims had been stabbed a total of 244 times, which prosecutor Vaughan Hartigan described as a "frenzy of violence."

Five knives and a meat cleaver were recovered by investigators following the attack. 

Vielle had been close friends with all three but was so drunk at the time that he doesn't remember why he committed such a vicious act of violence.

He turned himself in to police two days after the slayings.

Forensic evidence confirmed Vielle's DNA at the townhouse, and DNA from all three victims was at Vielle's home and on his seized clothing.

"The moment we hate someone is the moment we become that same person," said Ian Devine, Kevin's brother. "Forgiveness can come but it will take time."

Several members of the English family struggled through emotions to read victim impact statements on Monday, recounting the "wicked nightmare" they've lived since losing the two siblings.

In a statement read in the Lethbridge courtroom by defence lawyer Tonii Roulston, the killer expressed regret and apologized to his victims' families. 

The apology was something most of the family members, like Kristi Devine, were hoping for.

Kristi is married to Allen Devine and is described as Kyle's mother, especially since he lost his own to homicide more than a decade ago.

"He should immediately begin educating himself about toxic masculinity and anger management," Kristi said of Vielle.

"Prison will not be easy nor should it be, but he should use the time wisely."

Articled from the CBC RSS Syndication CBC.ca - RSS Feeds Copyright is that of their respective owners (CBC).


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