The Canadian Press
ANTIGONISH, N.S. – A 50-year-old man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his wife in Nova Scotia was given an automatic sentence of life in prison Tuesday with no parole eligibility for 13 years.
Patrick Chareka was charged with first-degree murder in the March 2011 death of Ottilia Chareka, an education professor of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish.
The 42-year-old woman died after she was repeatedly hit in the head with a hammer in her home, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court heard.
Before his judge-and-jury trial was scheduled to get underway last week, Chareka pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.
During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, the Crown and defence submitted a joint recommendation that Chareka serve 13 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.
He declined to make a statement before the judge delivered the sentence.
The Crown and defence submitted a joint recommendation of 13 years behind bars before parole eligibility. Crown lawyer Darlene Oko read an agreed statement of facts before the court, saying Patrick Chareka’s loss of employment caused considerable tension in the family home.
Oko said the night Ottilia Chareka was killed, she went to the living room with her youngest child, aged three.
The older children upstairs heard loud thumping, like a “hammer hitting hardwood,” Oko said.
The 15-year-old daughter witnessed the final blows, Oko said, and Patrick Chareka told the children to call 911.