A judge has found Joshua Petrin guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Lorry Santos and conspiracy to kill TJ Cromartie.
The verdict came down at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon Thursday.
Petrin received life in prison for first-degree murder and 12 years for the conspiracy charge, which will be served concurrently.
Family of Lorry Santos seated in the courtroom sobbed quietly as Justice Mona Dovell read her decision.
Petrin was accused of ordering the death of T.J. Cromartie. The Crown argued this order led to the death of 34-year-old mother Lorry Santos when the gunmen tasked with killing Cromartie went to the wrong address.
In 2014, Randy O’Hagan was convicted for his role in Santos’ murder.
In that trial, it came out he and a second gunman, who pleaded guilty, had gotten the 34-year-old’s address by mistake.
The mother of four was killed when O’Hagan rang her doorbell and then unloaded a .40-calibre Glock pistol through the front bay window of the home, with the second gunman firing at the side of the house.
Victim impact statements were read in court by the Santos family.
“Our family made Sundays our special days,” said Frederique Santos, Lorry’s daughter.
She described how the house would be filled with people sharing a big breakfast and stories from the week, but that now “Sunday routines never feel complete.”
Santos lamented how her mother’s death changed every holiday and celebration.
“We now spend Mother’s Day bringing flowers to her stone,” she said through tears.
Her daughter recalled seeing blood stains leading to the spot where Santos lay dead, and that instead of her mother’s last words being “I love you,” they were “oh my God.”
“We will never be as happy as we used to be. We will never be as complete as we used to be.”
A family friend read a statement from Santos’ husband, Ferdinand, describing a man heartbroken by loss and further traumatized by early public opinion he was somehow involved in the death.
“I’m a half a person because of this crime,” he said.
A third statement was read by Lindsay Schreiner, Santos’ sister, who also spoke to media outside the courthouse.
“(Lorry) was always just so happy, and never let anything get her down and it’s really unfortunate that this mistake led to her death.”
Schreiner said the family is now looking forward to putting this chapter behind them, adding the delays in court made closure difficult. Even now, the family isn’t confident Petrin’s court battle is over.
“Joshua Petrin is a dangerous man, so we’re glad that the judge found him guilty,” Schreiner said, noting the trial “dragged on way too long” given he was in custody as of December 2012.
“It won’t bring Lorry back and we miss her so much.”
The defence has already made it known they will appeal the decision.
Following the victim impact statements, Joshua Petrin spoke in court. It was a short, stream-of-conscious rambling that started with regret over not sharing his side of the story, but included no admission of guilt.
“My heart goes out to the family. It’s a terrible thing that’s happened,” he said.
“I’ve lost out on quite a bit too, my family, not anyone’s concern here – how life goes I suppose.”
– With files from 650 CKOM’s Bryn Levy.