Published on November 09, 2013
David Folker sits in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John's awaiting the return of the jury which has reached a verdict in the murder trial.
James McLeod - TC Media
Published on December 04, 2013
David Folker is pictured in Newfoundland Supreme Court Dec. 4.
Rosie Gillingham - TC Media
Convicted murderer David Folker will have to serve 15 years in prison before he is eligible to apply for parole, a Newfoundland Supreme Court justice ordered today in St. John’s.Folker, 43, was found guilty on Nov. 8 of second-degree murder in the death of Ann Marie Shirran, his young son's mother. He was also found guilty of committing an indignity to her body, for which he was sentenced to 3-1/2 years to run concurrently with the 15-year-sentence.
The conviction followed a lengthy trial in before a Newfouundland Supreme Court jury. Shirran was murdered in July 2010. Her body was found in September of that year, in a wooded area of the Southern Shore community of Cappahayden.
Shirran's father hoped for longer sentence
Shirran's father Jon Baggs told reporters after the decision, 15 years is a long time, but he was hoping for at least 18 to 20 years.
"It doesn't mean he'll get out in 15 years," he said. "I'd like to see them doing scaffolding here today, but that's not in the books anymore, so I've got to accept it."
Baggs said the images he saw in court from Cappahayden where his daughter's body was dumped will never go away so "there's no closure in that."
He said his other daughter is having a really hard time dealing her sister's death.
Mandatory sentence would be life in prison
The mandatory sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison.
The only issue before the court had been to determine how long Folker had to serve in prison before he would be eligible to apply for parole. The minimum by law is 10 years.
At the sentencing hearing, the Crown recommended Folker be ordered to wait 18 years before being allowed to apply for parole. The defence suggested 12-14 years.
Of the 12 jury members, half of them recommended Folker not be eligible for parole for 20 years. Three recommended 25 years, one said 17 years and two suggested 18 years.
Today Justice Wayne Dymond said that whatever the length of time Folker serves, it won’t bring back Shirran.
Aggravating factors include that it was a violent death, caused by substantial force. The couple had a small child at the time of Shirran's death and it was also a breach of trust in that people usually trust that their partners won't harm them.
Dymond said also, the fact Folker left Shirran’s body to be ravaged by animals goes to a lack of remorse.
Dymond told Folker he will be in his late 50s if he is successful in getting parole after 15 years.
"You will have time to reflect on what you have done and hopefully you will do something to help alleviate the grief and pain you have caused both families in this tragic case," Dymond said.
Folker will have to provide mandatory DNA samples and is banned from owning any weapons or explosives.