Rengel killer gets life

Sep 28, 2009 12:02 PM

Peter Small
Courts Bureau

The 19-year-old man who gave into his jealous girlfriend’s pressure and stabbed schoolgirl Stefanie Rengel to death has been sentenced to life in prison.

David Bagshaw’s identity can be revealed now that Justice Ian Nordheimer sentenced him as an adult this morning.

Nordheimer gave him life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 10 years. Even if released, he will be supervised for life.

Bagshaw shows promising prospects for rehabilitation but that should not blind us to the fact that he still poses a threat to the public, the judge said in passing sentence this morning.

"A period of incarceration of sufficient length is necessary to determine whether the progressive path that David only recently embarked on, will continue," Nordheimer said in his 17-page decision.

"He lured a young girl out of the safety of her home and then proceeded to stab her multiple times … Notwithstanding the number of times that these events have been replayed, both in court and elsewhere, they lose none of their truly evil nature when they are once again recounted."

Bagshaw lured Stefanie, 14, from her Northdale Blvd. home on New Year’s Day 2008, stabbing her six times and leaving her to die in the snow just steps from her front door.

For months, his jealous girlfriend, Melissa Todorovic, sent him emails and Web chat messages insisting that he murder Stefanie, a girl she had never met but regarded as a rival.

A jury found Todorovic, 17, guilty of first-degree murder in March. This summer, Nordheimer sentenced her as an adult, giving her the maximum for someone who committed the crime at age 15: life in prison with no hope of parole for seven years.

Bagshaw pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in April, telling psychiatrists that he wanted to spare Stefanie’s family the heartache of another trial.

Two weeks ago, he read out a tearful apology to the family.

"Nothing I can say or do can right this wrong," he said.

"I want to ask for forgiveness, but realize that I can’t even forgive myself. I hate myself and the decision I made that night."

Ian Rengel, Stefanie’s brother, read a statement on behalf of the family, saying that they are all relieved that the trial process has come to an end. "It has been very difficult and exhausting," he said outside the courthouse.

Ian expressed frustration that Bagshaw could qualify for parole after just 10 years in prison because he was four days shy of his 18th birthday when he killed Stefanie.

Had Bagshaw been 18 at the time, today’s sentence would have come with an automatic 25 years in prison before parole eligibility.

"My sister Stefanie didn’t even get to live 15 years," he said. "The community should be very concerned when David Bagshaw gets out in 10 years."

Observers noted his acceptance of responsibility seemed more forthright than Todorovic’s, who expressed her sorrow for "everything that I’ve said and done to contribute to Stefanie’s death."

Bagshaw’s lawyer, Heather McArthur, argued for a youth sentence, noting that psychiatrists believe he can be reintegrated into society within eight to 10 years.

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the maximum he would get for a youth sentence would be six years in custody and four years under community supervision.

But prosecutor Robin Flumerfelt insisted that only an adult sentence would protect the public.

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