Patrick Dunac was sentenced to life with a chance of parole in 10 years Friday for the killing of 23-year-old Jessica Riopelle.
“There are no words to express the torture and pain in our hearts,” said Karen Riopelle, supported by Jessica’s father Ron Riopelle who carried a portrait of his daughter. As she read from a statement, sobs from the many family and friends gathered filled the courtroom.
“Our lives were changed forever when Patrick murdered my daughter,” she said. “I am not OK, we will never be OK. We want to ensure this monster will never have the opportunity to do this again.”
Early this week, Dunac plead guilty to the charge of second-degree murder for killing Riopelle on March 26, 2011, in a room of the the Swiss Inn motel attached to the Diamond strip club in south Ottawa where she worked as a dancer.
Dunac had been hired at the motel as a handyman and cleaner.
“With regret, sorrow and shame I want to say sorry again for your loss,” said Dunac as he read a statement to the family, noting he was under potent, mind altering drugs as factor in the murder. “I hope one day in the future you will accept my humble apologies.”
In an autopsy, a forensic toxicologist found high levels of speed, ecstasy, hash and cocaine in Riopelle’s system. A hammer and box-cutter were found in Dunac’s room with Ropelle’s blood on them and her body was discovered in the room’s shower stall.
Along with a life sentence, Dunac was handed a lifetime weapons prohibition and will provide a DNA blood sample to the criminal databank.