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Bid to plead manslaughter rejected

September 26, 2016 3:41 P.M.
Ryan Quigley entering court in Kelowna. (Carmen Weld)

By CARMEN WELD

UPDATE: 3:20 p.m.

“He’s guilty as sin,” said the grieving and angry father of Aimee Parkes outside the Kelowna courthouse on Monday.

Graham Parkes is in Kelowna to sit in on the second-degree murder trial of Ryan Quigley – the man accused of killing his daughter.

Quigley, 36, is accused of killing Aimee at the Hiawatha Mobile Home Park on April 1, 2014.

Two days after Aimee's body was discovered in the home they shared at Hiawatha, Quigley was arrested and charged in her death.

Quigley’s lawyer said in court today that his client doesn’t deny killing his ex-fiancée, but still pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough said his client was willing to plead guilty to a lesser manslaughter charge, but Crown prosecutor Colin Forsyth denied this option and chose to proceed with the second-degree murder trial.

McCullough said his client's defence against the charge of second-degree murder will be based on factors of intent, provocation and intoxication.

Aimee's family, friends and victim support services took up much of the courtroom on Monday.

Graham Parkes said his daughter was ready to marry Quigley and that he had received a wedding invitation in the mail before Quigley's use of illicit drugs became clear to Aimee.

“He became more open about his lifestyle. When she found out she didn't want anything to do with him. She wanted him out ... He should be charged with first-degree murder,” said Graham.

“It's disgusting. I hope they find him guilty with no remission for 25 years.”

In opening statements Monday morning, Crown told Madame Justice Alison Beames that Aimee died from blood loss as a result of 26 stab wounds to her head, neck, upper torso and shoulder.

Forsyth's first two witnesses were Danielle Floyd, a property manager at Hiawatha, and Const. Bruce Brydon – the people who discovered Aimee's body on April 1. Both were told by Aimee's boss at CIBC that Aimee had intended on kicking Quigley out the night before and she was worried about her well-being because she hadn't shown up for work.

In an attempt to get in the unit and check on Aimee, Floyd and Brydon went around the back of the home were they discovered the back door was not latched.

“When I looked down I saw a sheet,” Floyd told the court. “I saw what was very clearly a body that had been wrapped in sheets, covered in blood.”

She stepped back and asked for the RCMP officer to go inside the home. She said he swore and called in a suspicious homicide.

Brydon entered the unit from the back door and saw what appeared to be a body underneath a white sheet with blood stains.

Aimee's arm was sticking out from under the sheet and he checked for a pulse before lifting the front corner of the sheet and seeing a woman's head on a pillow covered in dry blood.

Brydon said he pulled out his gun and flashlight and searched the rest of the home for a possible assailant or other victims.

During his search of the home he noticed blood on the ground in the trailer and a bloody kitchen knife on the kitchen table.

He exited the home and waited for further resources. Crown is expected to call more witnessed Monday afternoon.

The second-degree murder trial is expected to last four weeks. The Crown is expected to call 34 witnesses.


ORIGINAL: 10:50 a.m.

A man charged with murdering his ex-fiancee tried Monday to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Ryan Quigley's second-degree murder trial started this morning with the Crown prosecutor Colin Forsyth rejecting the 36-year-old's attempted plea – and instead proceeding with the second-degree murder trial.

Quigley is accused of killing Aimee Parkes at the Hiawatha Mobile Home Park on April 1, 2014.

While Quigley doesn't deny killing Parkes, his defence against the charge of second-degree murder is now expected to be based on factors of intent, provocation and intoxication.

The trial is expected to last four weeks and the Crown is planning to call 34 witnesses.

Quigley was granted bail in December 2015 and has been living under strict conditions with family.

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