NEWS

Michael John Lawrence, Nova Scotia Man, Pleads Guilty To Three Murders Dating Back To 2000

01/10/2012 03:17 EST | Updated 03/11/2012 05:12 EDT
KENTVILLE, N.S. - A Nova Scotia man who fatally shot three people more than a decade ago was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with no chance of applying for parole for 25 years.

Michael John Lawrence of Windsor, N.S., pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder after the court in Kentville, N.S., heard an agreed statement of facts. The sentence was automatic.

The two-page statement says that on Sept. 8, 2000, Lawrence was on his way from Truro, N.S., to Halifax to commit a robbery when he hitched a ride with 65-year-old Charles Maddison.

Lawrence pulled a gun on the Colchester County man and ordered him to drive to a remote location in rural Hants County. That's where Lawrence shot Maddison twice and later hid his corpse, the statement says.

Maddison's remains were never found, even though Lawrence tried to lead police to where the crime took place.

The statement says that instead of following through on a robbery attempt, Lawrence took part in the premeditated slayings of Kirk Mersereau and his wife, Nancy Christensen, the next day at their home in Centre Burlington, N.S.

The court was told the couple had already been shot several times by an accomplice, but Lawrence followed up by shooting them again with the same handgun he used to kill Maddison.

"Mr. Lawrence participated in the murder," the statement says. "Mr. Lawrence admits ... that their murders were planned and deliberate."

The statement says Lawrence confessed to his crimes and also participated in a re-enactment of what happened.

"Mr. Lawrence is deeply remorseful for his actions and the pain he caused to the victims and the members of their families."

Lawrence was charged in December 2010.