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Former CFL player convicted of ex-girlfriend's murder won't be eligible for parole for 14 years

A former professional football player who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend will not be eligible for parole for 14 years.

Joshua Boden, who once played with the Canadian Football League as a wide receiver, learned his sentence in a Vancouver courtroom on Friday.

Family and friends of the victim, Kimberly Hallgarth, sat in the front row of the courtroom gallery, at times crying and hugging one another.

Outside court, Hallgarth’s brother Jamie Errand said while nothing will bring his sister back, they are satisfied with the sentence.

“I’m very happy with the judge’s decision today. I think it was firm and fair,” he said. “The lack of remorse and admittance to the crime is really not that great, however that’s not me that has to live with that, that’s somebody else.”

Second-degree murder convictions come with an automatic life sentence in B.C., so it was up to the judge to determine when Boden would be eligible for parole. The Crown asked for 15 years, while Boden's legal team suggested 12 years.

Boden, 35, was found guilty last year of the second-degree murder of Hallgarth. The 33-year-old was killed in 2009 in the Burnaby, B.C., home she shared with her three-year-old daughter.

During Boden's sentencing hearing, the B.C. Supreme Court heard that Boden viciously beat his ex-girlfriend, choked her and then staged the scene in an effort to make her death look like an accident.

Justice Arne Silverman told the court that according to the Crown the “prolonged nature of the killing” was an aggravating factor, in which Boden stomped on Hallgarth’s neck and chest, and put pills and socks into her mouth before strangling her. 

The Crown called her murder "blunt, brutal and horrific," with prosecutor Brendan McCabe describing her injuries as the most shocking he'd seen in his career.

McCabe told the court photos of her injuries she alleged stemmed from an assault by Boden were sent to then-coach of the B.C. Lions Wally Buono. The prosecutor said that Boden blamed Hallgarth for the end of his career.

The murder happened the year after Boden was released from the B.C. Lions, which he'd only signed with in 2007.

At the time of his release, he planned to play with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but never played a regular-season game with the team. He was cut from the team.

Boden maintained his innocence through the trial process.

As Boden walked out of the courtroom with sheriffs, he said “have a good day.” It’s unclear who the statement was directed towards.

Errand said his sister had an infectious laugh, loved people, and treated friends like family.

“It’s a sad day, but you know again I have gratitude that I’m here and we finally have some closure,” he said. “She’s missed.”

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories


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