Convicted murderer Megan Elizabeth Springstead stood and wiped away tears Thursday as a Calgary judge accepted a joint submission to sentence her to five years for manslaughter in the slaying of her roommate.
With credit for time already served that left Springstead with 18 more months in custody, Judge Willie deWit was also able to order Springstead to complete two years of probation upon her release.
By law, prison sentences of more than two years cannot be followed by probation.
The Court of King’s Bench judge accepted a joint submission from Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor and defense counsel Kirsten Lancee in relation to the December 13, 2019 death of Mahmoud Aburashad.
Springstead pleaded guilty more than a year ago to assisting her then-boyfriend, Allen James McCabe, in the murder of Aburashad at 28 St. NE residence they shared at the time.
Taylor said McCabe and Aburashad read from a statement of agreed facts after the latter told the couple they would have to leave the house immediately over an unpaid $450 drug debt.
But he said the conclusions to which dr. Yuri Metelitsa came in the second part of his report, shows that there is hope for the offender going forward.
“When I read the first part of it, I thought things were pretty dark for Ms. Springstead,” he told deWit.
“The time that Ms. Springstead actually spent in custody had a salutary effect.”
He said the psychiatrist noted that the convicted murderer had shown insight into her behavior and genuine remorse.
Lancee pointed out that Springstead’s actions in the prisoner’s box were demonstrated, as the offender wiped away tears throughout the trial, particularly when Taylor read the facts of her crime.
The lawyer said Springstead’s life was derailed by alcohol and drug addiction to the point where she would wait outside liquor stores until they opened in the morning.
But Lancee said Springstead is “someone capable of having a productive life.”
“This is someone who can be rehabilitated.”
McCabe had previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole for a minimum of 10 years.
Among the conditions of Springstead’s probation is that she receive counseling and have no contact with her accomplice.
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