Two teenage sisters were found guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in the bathtub drowning death of their alcoholic mother. The sisters, now 18 and 19, planned their mother's death on Jan. 18, 2003, by making sure she was drunk and drugged with a pain reliever containing codeine before she took a bath at the family home in the suburb of Mississauga, west of Toronto.
"The case against them is overwhelming ... the strongest case I've seen in 30 years," Justice Bruce Duncan said Thursday in delivering his verdict. The case has gained widespread media coverage because the girls Internet chats with their friends during the murder were especially chilling.
The defense had argued that the sisters, who were 15 and 16 at the time of their mother's death, lied to their friends about killing their mother in a desperate bid for attention. Videotapes of the girls candidly recounting their 44-year-old mother's drowning to a family friend were entered into evidence during the trial. In separate conversations secretly taped by police, the girls complain their mother's alcoholism made their lives unbearable and that their younger brother was better off without her.
On the night of the drowning, the then 6-year-old boy was staying with his father, who had been separated from the mother for some time. The court also heard the older sister chatting with another friend on the Internet as the crime unfolded, calling their mother too "stupid" to know what was going on, and that both girls met up with more friends at a restaurant afterward to hatch an alibi.
The mother's drowning death was initially ruled accidental. It was only after the family friend came forward with allegations that the older sister confessed to the crime that police reopened the case. Neither the mother nor her daughters can be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Sentencing was expected at a later date, reports the AP. N.U.