Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sudanese refugee living in Edmonton, AB sentenced to 10 years to life for killing wife

Husband killed pregnant wife
By TONY BLAIS -- Sun Media
The Edmonton Sun

An Edmonton man was sentenced to life in prison [September 8] after admitting stabbing his pregnant wife to death several weeks after learning the unborn child was not his.

John Dum Both, 43, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Sept. 6, 2006, slaying of 27-year-old Nyibol Chuol, whose decomposed body was found 10 days later hidden in a ditch north of Highway 16, just east of the city.

"This was the killing of a spouse, a breach of trust," said Crown prosecutor Lawrence Van Dyke. "Literally the ultimate act of spousal violence."

The Sudanese immigrant had the help of a Nuer interpreter, but softly spoke the word "guilty" in English, and his lawyer later said the killer had accepted responsibility and told him he "had no right" to do what he did.

Both also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for stabbing his wife's cousin, Deng Awer, in the arm on the day after the killing as the then-21-year-old man went to call police to get help in finding his missing cousin.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain accepted a joint submission for Both to be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 10 years from the time of his arrest.

According to agreed facts, Both and Chuol came to Canada as government-sponsored refugees in 2003, along with two of Chuol's elementary school-aged nephews. In approximately late May 2006, Chuol became pregnant by a man identified in court as James Ding Dak.

Both became aware Chuol was pregnant by at least July 21, 2006, when he accompanied her to see a doctor, and knew he was not the father by no later than Aug. 18, 2006. Chuol refused to tell Both who the real father was.

On Sept. 6, 2006, Both picked up Chuol and a friend from Sacred Heart school where she was studying English as a second language. The couple dropped off the friend at home and appeared to be arguing during the drive.

Court heard Both stabbed Chuol multiple times and then concealed her body by covering it with grass and leaves in a ditch overgrown with bushes adjacent to a service road on the north side of Highway 16 by Range Road 222.

About 4 p.m. the next day, Awer went to Both's 12819 72 St. home to borrow a vacuum cleaner and asked the bakery worker where his wife was. Awer suggested calling police to help find her and, as he walked towards his car, Both attacked him with a large kitchen knife.

Both was arrested and charged with aggravated assault that night. The boys were taken by Children's Services.

Police discovered Chuol's body on Sept. 16, 2006, and an autopsy revealed she had been stabbed at least five times, including wounds to the chest and abdomen. Both was charged with second-degree murder five days later.

In victim impact statements, the two boys - who are now 12 and 14 and living with relatives in Australia - said they are sad over the death of their aunt and remain frightened that Both will track them down and kill them.

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