‘I’m not a heartless monster as I’ve been portrayed.’

Before the judge comes down with his final decision, Grace Robotti took the stand and shared the following comments with the court.

Brother and sister Grace and Pier Robotti were sentenced Tuesday morning for their respective roles in the 2015 killing of Penticton’s Roxanne Louie.

Grace was found guilty of second degree murder. Pier had been charged with second degree murder, but the charge was stayed when he pleaded guilty to interference with a dead body in a trial that preceded his sister’s.

Robotti killed Louie—the mother of her great-grandchild—on Jan. 4, 2015 by hitting her at least 26 times in the head with a small crowbar after an argument between the two had raged out of control.

Before the judge came down with his final decision, Grace took the stand and shared the following comments with the court.

“I’m 67 years old, I’m retired I’ve never been involved in any violence. I just worked all my life, doing my best to be supportive of my family and friends.

My life, like many people, has had its highs and lows. It’s been mostly unremarkable, quiet and private. I’m not perfect, but I’m not a heartless monster as I’ve been portrayed.

Never in my worst nightmare could I have imagined that one day I would be involved in anything so devastating and unthinkable.

My sentence will be onfirmed today, but my real sentence started that night, Jan. 4 2015, and the week following.

For Roxanne’s loved ones: There are no words that can bring Roxanne back. I wish there were. I wish I could turn back the clock and I’m so sorry that I can’t.

Today I will leave here with my sadness and regret. And in hindsight, with a very clear head, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what could have been said, what could have been done — or not.

I think about that all the time, what could have been done differently that would have ended in a less tragic outcome. I have to believe that Roxanne’s spirit is at peace and in a good place. I have to believe that she understands more than I or anyone, the events of that terrible week. And I have to hope that with time there will be healing for her family.

For my family, I know how your lives too have been turned upside down. I hope that in time you too will be able to move forward and be OK. To you and to your friends who helped me through some very dark days in the last two years, I will forever be grateful. I also want thank you for respecting my wishes and not coming to this courthouse and this trial. You all deserve your privacy and it helped me get through each day not having to worry about you.

For my great great grandson: You are a ray of sunshine in the lives of everyone who knows and loves you.

You are a bit older now and you will hear things that are hard to hear or understand. And you will have questions. I have faith, that those in both your families who are closest to you and have only your interests at heart, will work together to answer those hard questions and hope you remain a loving, kind joyful little soul that you are. You will always be in your nanny’s hearts and thoughts.

Comments suggesting that I and my family are racist and the loss of Roxanne was driven by racism.

That’s very hurtful. For the record, I’d like to note that my adult grandchildren who I love very much have Indigenous background on their paternal side of their family who include a great-grandparent who was a (chief) and sadly some people who were involved in the residential school system.

Racism of any kind has never played a role in relationships with my family nor our feelings toward anyone, including and especially Roxanne. I pray you find it in your hearts to not use a heartbreaking personal tragedy to further personal or political agendas.”