Garry Taylor Handlen entered a plea of not guilty to the first-degree murder of the 12-year-old Monica Jack (pictured). (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Man gets life for killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

A case involving Garry Handlen and another B.C. girl’s murder was dismissed

A judge has sentenced Garry Handlen to life in prison for killing a 12-year-old girl in 1978 but moments later dismissed a case involving allegations the man murdered another British Columbia girl three years earlier.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen called Handlen a sexual predator who preys on the vulnerable and weak to commit barbaric crimes and has already been convicted for other sexual assaults.

RELATED: Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Handlen was found guilty by a jury earlier this month of the first-degree murder of Monica Jack, who disappeared while riding her bike in Merritt on May 6, 1978.

He had also been charged with the first-degree murder of 11-year Kathryn-Mary Herbert in or near Matsqui in 1975, but pleaded not guilty after being sentenced for Jack’s murder and the Crown said it would not be presenting evidence.

A conviction of first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence of 25 years without parole, although Cullen noted Handlen is eligible to apply for parole in 15 years through the so-called faint hope clause because he killed Jack before that law was eliminated.

READ MORE: Crown tells jury to accept undercover confession of B.C. girl’s murder

Jack’s cousin Debbie John told the sentencing hearing she has carried enormous guilt about Jack’s murder because she was the one to suggest they ride their bicycles into Merritt the day Jack disappeared.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Police swarm residence near UBC Okanagan, arrest 3 men

Five RCMP cars were seen outside 755 Academy Way Wednesday evening.

Road closures anticipated for 9th annual Kelowna Vaisakhi Parade

The annual event highlighting the Sikh community will be held April 27

Snow falling at Big White near season’s end

Big White is open until April 22

Easter dinner at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

Clients of the Gospel Mission are in for an Easter feast.

Okanagan start-up asks Ottawa to protect kids online

Mazu’s online petition to protect children while online is over halfway to it’s goal of 500 signatures

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Give Canada geese at Okanagan beaches a break

LETTER: Tour busses, full of photographers, local goose guides and an annual goose festival

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

B.C. RCMP arrest foreign national in connection to airport thefts

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read