Michael Martel of 100 Mile House has been sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 14 years in the brutal killing of his former girlfriend, Vesna Dumpstrey-Soos on Jan. 4, 2016.
On Jan. 21, 2019, Martel, 49, pleaded guilty to second degree murder, cancelling the need for a trial.
Before delivering the sentence in Williams Lake Supreme Court on Thursday, Aug. 16, Judge Marguerite Church outlined the agreed facts in the case.
She described how Martel subjected Dumpstrey-Soos to a prolonged and violent attack in the home they once shared on Norman Road outside of 100 Mile House where she continued to live once their relationship ended earlier in 2015.
During the course of the attack, Church said Martel eventually duct-taped Dumpstrey-Soos’s mouth and covered her head with her sweater.
He then located a 22 calibre rifle in the house which he used to shoot her several times in the head.
Martel also shot her dog in the house and later shot two cats at his own home.
Church said Martel disposed of the gun, which has never been located, fled to Kamloops the next day and eventually turned himself into police on Jan. 6, 2019.
“The circumstances of this offence indicate significant uncontrolled rage on the part of Mr. Martel,” Church said, adding the murder has had profound, far-reaching and devastating effects on her family and friends which was evident in the victim impact statements that were filed and presented in court during the sentencing hearing in June.
“Her father, Leon Dumpstrey-Soos, will likely never heal from the loss of his daughter in such brutal circumstances. He has, quite literally, lost everything. It is difficult to imagine how Dumpstrey-Soos’s friends and family will work through their despair.”
Impacts of the murder are not limited to friends and family, Church added.
“There is also damage to the welfare and security of the community as a whole, which is particularly profound when a murder occurs in a small community such as 100 Mile House.”
Vesna’s father, Leon Dumpstrey-Soos, sat with two victim service support workers and a family friend, during the sentencing, while Martel sat quietly in the prisoner’s box throughout and showed no emotion.
As he exited the court room, escorted by two sheriffs, Martel looked directly at Mr. Dumpstrey-Soos momentarily.
Church said Martel had disclosed during a psychiatric assessment that he wanted to apologize to Mr. Dumpstrey-Soos, but that he was unable to do so.
Sharing hugs with his victim service worker from 100 Mile House, Dumpstrey-Soos then paused and told the Tribune he had no comment.
“It is what it is,” he added.
Church also imposed a lifetime firearms ban and ordered Martel to provide a DNA sample.