ALBERTA
08/19/2014 05:54 EDT | Updated 10/19/2014 05:59 EDT

Murdered Alberta college student 'did not suffer much:' defence lawyer

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - The defence lawyer for a southern Alberta man who killed a college student has told a sentencing hearing that she — quote — "did not suffer much."

But details on how 23-year-old Amy Lewis died and where her body may be hidden were not released.

Lewis was a nursing student at Medicine Hat College when she was last seen in June 2012 and, despite several searches, her body has never been found.

Jerrison Herve Stopanski, who is 36, was originally charged with second-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Monday.

Common themes in eight victim impact statements from family members included deep sorrow for their loss and sadness that Lewis will never meet her many nieces and nephews.

The Crown is seeking eight years in prison, while the defence is looking for no more than six years when the judge returns with a sentence on Thursday.

Stopanski apologized to the Lewis family and said he will walk around with her death in his heart for the rest of his life.

Lewis is the grand-niece of former Alberta Social Credit premier Harry Strom.

An agreed statement of facts presented in court said Stopanski and Lewis met through an online personal ad. The statement said Lewis agreed to perform a sexual act on Stopanski in exchange for money.

The two met in person at the Medical Arts Building near where her vehicle was recovered days after her disappearance

(CJCY, The Canadian Press)