An Ontario man who shot a woman in the head several times in her apartment and left her body to decompose there has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
James Scordino was found guilty last month of first-degree murder in the death of Angela Skorulski, a woman he knew from working in the elevator business and who was also his co-defendant in a lawsuit.
An Ontario man who shot a woman in the head several times in her apartment and left her body to decompose there has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.https://t.co/qK78igMHA6
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) April 3, 2019
First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with 25 years of parole ineligibility. A sentencing hearing was held last week.
In his written decision on sentencing, Ontario Superior Court Justice Clayton Conlan said Scordino took steps to conceal the “brutal killing,” which took place roughly two years ago.
But though Skorulski’s body wasn’t found for weeks, Conlan said police eventually uncovered what had happened with the help of forensic technology.
Scordino is also facing a lifetime firearms ban and must submit a DNA sample.
Court documents say little is known about Scordino or the nature of his relationship with Skorulski, but the two were being sued by the University of Toronto.
Crown attorneys argued at trial that Scordino murdered Skorulski in part because he was angry that she had asked him to take full responsibility for the lawsuit, documents say.
On Feb. 13, 2017, Scordino went to Skorulski’s apartment in Oakville, Ont., the documents say. He was captured on security video alone in the parking garage, then with Skorulski in the lobby and in the hall near her apartment.
He was also seen on surveillance footage after the murder, the documents say.
Evidence from a forensic pathologist showed Skorulski was shot in the head four times, with the final shot delivered with the gun pressed against the back of her head, they say.
“After he killed the victim, Scordino went back to his usual life,” Conlan wrote. “He continued to work. He took a leisure trip out of the country. He continued to reside in Fort Erie. He continued to have contact with his girlfriend.”
Scordino tried to cover up his crime, however, by hiding ammunition in the unfinished basement ceiling of his home and putting the murder weapon—a handgun registered to his grandfather—in the finished ceiling of an office at his work, court documents say.
He disposed of the clothes he had been wearing during the murder by placing them in a garbage bag at his work, they say.
The defence did not present any evidence but, prior to the trial, had filed an application to raise the possibility of an alternate suspect—another man who was the sole beneficiary and executor of Skorulski’s estate.
But the court dismissed the application, saying that while the man may appear to have a “strong financial motive” to kill Skorulski, there otherwise was a “complete absence of anything” connecting him to the crime.
Conlan said Skorulski’s death has had a “devastating effect” on her family and friends.
“To lose a loved one is a very challenging thing to endure. To have someone with many more years to live ripped from you at the hands of another person, knowing that her body was left there for weeks, alone, to decompose, must be excruciating,” the judge wrote.
“I hope that this final chapter will bring some modicum of peace to those who mourn the loss of Ms. Skorulski.”
by Paola Loriggio