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Killer of Karrie Ann Stone and Tyeshia Jones to be sentenced Friday

A sheriff escorts double-murderer William Elliott from the Duncan courthouse following closing arguments in his sentencing hearing Thursday. - Peter W. Rusland
A sheriff escorts double-murderer William Elliott from the Duncan courthouse following closing arguments in his sentencing hearing Thursday.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

The killer of two local women will be sentenced in Duncan court Friday at 2 p.m.

Judge Keith Bracken will deliver his decision to William Elliott, 26, who has admitted to the killings of Karrie Ann Stone and Tyeshia Jones.

After presenting days of gruesome testimony — including filmed interviews with Elliott — and citing case precedence, and reports about the accused, Crown lawyers Scott Van Alstine and Laura Ford are seeking a full life sentence of 25 years in prison, without parole possibility until that stretch ends.

Defense lawyer Scott Sheets also cited case law, recommending a 12- to 15-year sentence.

Elliott, wearing a black shirt, jeans, white running shoes, and leg chains, sat quietly in the prisoner's box during the sentencing hearing's closing statements in a packed court room.

Sheets explained his client's plea and subsequent conduct are relevant. Elliott has expressed remorse and apologized to the mothers of two dead women, Bev Stone, and Mary Jim respectively, both of whom were in court with their families.

"He's admitted his responsibility, and entered a guilty plea," he said. "It will never be enough. There's no excuse of his actions, my lord, but there is a partial explanation."

Sheets cited a Gladue Report about Elliott and his Aboriginal background, and how physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and other factors, shaped the man he has become.

It would be remarkable, Sheets said, to expect someone to survive that level of abuse and be unaffected. Abandonment, dumpster-diving to survive, and vacant parental relationships were factors too, he said.

"Mr. Elliott was born with an alcohol-related .... disorder. Most of his life he was unloved; his parents didn't know how to love," Sheets said of Elliott's folks who were affected by residential-school abuse.

But Ford cautioned, Judge Bracken about considering cases, cited by Sheets, that are perhaps outdated.

"The law does evolve, and (sentence) range changes," she said, noting Elliott's First Nations status "is a mitigating factor but part of a balancing."

Past cases guiding Bracken detail a list of issues, from cruelty, rehabilitation possibility, plus drug and alcohol abuse, to official analyses, remorse, context, provocation and much more.

"Mr. Elliott does not bring good character to the table," Ford said.

Pointing to the Gladue Report, Van Alstine said "He really didn't understand right from wrong."

It describes Elliott as having two sides of character, being distracted and impulsive, and disconnected from his Native culture.

Crown also described how Elliott killed Stone, but didn't realize the gravity of his crime before killing Jones.

Court also received a pre-sentencing report, and a psychological report about Elliott. Defense lawyer Renee Miller noted Elliott could possibly be rehabilitated, given humane circumstances.

Last July, Elliott 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.

He 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.

The court also heard how 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.

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