B.C. man who stabbed ex-girlfriend 47 times sentenced to 15 years without parole
VANCOUVER -- The B.C. man who pleaded guilty to stabbing his ex-girlfriend 47 times and then deliberately crashing his SUV while she was in the passenger seat has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.
Jan Poepl's sentence for second-degree murder was handed down Tuesday by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker, who remarked on the "horrific and brutal" nature of the crime.
The court previously heard that after stabbing Nicole Porciello dozens of times, Poepl decided to record her with his cellphone rather than call 911.
“It is shocking in its total absence of empathy or concern for what he has just done to the woman he reported to love," Ker said. “He did not phone anyone or endeavour to get help."
Peopl, a former real estate agent, then left Porciello bleeding in his car for nearly two hours as he did online banking, ordered a flat-screen TV and sent an email resigning from his job, according to an agreed upon statement of facts.
There were sobs in the courtroom as his sentence was delivered. Gina Iuliano, the victim's cousin, said the punishment was disappointing.
"He viciously, viciously tortured Nicole at 31 years old,” said Iuliano. "And in 15 years, which is 46 (years old), he could actually be walking these streets."
Porciello’s family said 15 years before parole eligibility is not long enough, though that is the length of time requested by Crown. The defence had asked for 10 years, the minimum allowed in a second-degree murder conviction.
Poepl eventually got back into the SUV and drove it into a light pole in an apparent effort to make it look like she died in an accident. Porciello was thrown from the vehicle and into a ditch, where she was later discovered by first responders.
Ker said she accepts that Poepl is "genuinely remorseful for what he has done and will live with it for the rest of his life.”
She added he had no criminal record and by participating in inmate programs and pleading guilty he had taken “full responsibility of his actions.”
But Porciello’s father disagreed with the Supreme Court justice.
"It made me sick to my stomach,” said Joe Porciello. "Because if he was remorseful, he would show a tear in his eye, he would show (he was upset)."
Iuliano said she believes Poepl to be calculated in his actions. “He calculated everything from the time he went into prison and I believe the remorse is not genuine but it was just a plan so his sentence would be reduced. That’s my perspective.”
Ker said the accused had been in a jealous rage after his ex-girlfriend had broken off their relationship nine days before her murder.
She described how Porciello was fearful of him and that his “anger, jealously and possessiveness demonstrates he was unable to accept boundaries.”
Ker also spoke of Poepl’s family, who lives in Germany but has provided support to him and flew to Canada for his sentencing. Though they condemn what he has done and are shocked and horrified by it, Ker explained how they say it’s completely out of character for him.
"We have heard here the intentional and needless taking of Nicole's life in circumstances which can only be described as torture, and for the most self serving of reasons,” said Ashley Engleson, one of Porciello’s best friends. "Why would a future release even be a consideration?"
Ker also spoke of the victim impact statement written by Porciello’s son, who was devastated by the loss of his mother. The judge said reading that in the hand-written print of an 11-year-old was difficult. Porciello’s son is now 12.
“There’s 35 victim impact statements that have the same theme,” said Iuliano. "She was pure love, she was fierce, she was smart, she was intelligent."
Family and friends are calling on the public to think long and hard about the sentence, of eligibility for parole after 15 years.
“Take a look at the precedent that this has set in the sense of this sentencing,” said Iuliano, questioning why someone convicted of a crime like the one that killed Porciello could ever be granted parole.
“It’s unfair. It’s unjust."