Family faces killer who stabbed ex-girlfriend 47 times, then recorded a video instead of calling for help
Warning: This story contains disturbing details shared in court.
Looking for the latest on the hearing? Here's our coverage for Thursday, March 11.
VANCOUVER -- Nicole Porciello’s family knew this day would eventually come.
The day when they would have to face the jealous ex-boyfriend who murdered her, and to share the trauma and the fear they have lived with each and every day for over two years.
In a cruel twist, the same day Porciello’s brother, aunt, best friend, and father read their victim impact statements aloud in court, and 31 more were placed on the record, they were also faced with the horror of her final hours.
Porciello, also known as Nicole Hasselmann, died in November 2018 after being thrown out of a vehicle along Barnet Highway in Burnaby.
According to an agreed statement of facts, the SUV was crashed deliberately by Jan Poepl, her on-again, off-again boyfriend for some seven years.
Porciello was the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a special education assistant at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver.
Her cousin, Gina Iuliano, described her as a “bright light.”
Her best friend, Ashley Engleson, as “truly beautiful, inside and out.”
Poepl, a former real estate agent, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in her death.
At the first of a two-day sentencing hearing Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court, Crown asked a judge to sentence Poepl to 15 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.
Defence is asking for the minimum: 10 years.
“He didn’t just kill my daughter,” Nicole’s father Joe said. “He killed my entire family.”
Killer recorded a video while his ex-girlfriend lay dying
According to the agreed statement of facts, Poepl was both abusive and jealous of Porciello’s other relationships and friendships.
Just nine days before her murder, she had broken off her relationship with Poepl, though she continued to see him.
During the evening of Nov. 16, 2018, which was supposed to end with Porciello being dropped off by Poepl at her son’s hockey practice, he instead stabbed her at least 47 times with two knives as she sat in the passenger seat.
Instead of calling 911, he pulled out his cellphone and recorded a video of the two of them.
In the video, which was played for the first time in open court on Wednesday, Porciello is struggling to breath.
Poepl says, in part: “I am a f***ing psychopath and I hate myself. I did the worst thing that anyone could do.”
The courtroom filled with sobs.
Someone else shouted at Poepl: “You can’t even watch the f***ing video. Lift your head up.”
Justice Kathleen Ker had previously advised the video was extremely distressing and that anyone who wanted to leave the courtroom could step out ahead of time, or while it was being played.
“No person in this world should ever have to suffer the way Nicole did," her cousin Gina Iuliano later told CTV News outside court.
“I actually don’t have the words to explain what we saw or what I feel… I’m in shock.”
According to the agreed statement of facts, Poepl then drove home.
He left Porciello bleeding and dying in his car for nearly two hours.
Neighbours reported hearing honking.
Poepl went online to do his banking and pay bills.
He ordered a dishwasher and flat screen TV.
He sent an email resigning from his job.
Over two hours after he stabbed Porciello, he was back in the car, and drove it and her into a light pole, in an effort to make it look like she had died in a crash.
Porciello was thrown out of the vehicle, and into a ditch, where first responders didn’t find her until they did a perimeter search of the crash.
According to the statement of facts, both her stab wounds and the trauma from the crash contributed to her death.
'Where is the humanity in this?'
One by one, Porciello’s family and her best friend had a chance to publicly grieve her loss, to face Poepl, and share the impact her murder has had on their extended family.
Her father Joe: “You destroyed my family. Our hearts are broken. You took my baby and I will never be whole again.”
Her best friend Ashley Engelson: “Where is the humanity in this?” And, “I wish she’d never met you. She would still be here.”
Her aunt: “They are just going through life like zombies. It is so hard to see them suffering so much.”
And her brother Carmine: “I have lost all faith…in what world is such a tragic loss OK? I have lost all faith in God, in humanity, in everything.”
Joe also shared that Nicole’s young son blames himself for not being with his mother that night, and said he feels he could have stopped her murder from happening.
Engelson pledged to one day show her friend, she can fight again, and stand strong as a “warrior”
“My heart feels so broken from the loss of her - that I hope that one day I can make her proud again,” she said.
Nicole Porciello was 34 years old.
Sentencing continues on Thursday.