MONTREAL — The conviction of a Quebec man found guilty of second-degree murder in the 2015 death of his Inuk girlfriend sends a message to the Indigenous community that the justice system hasn't forgotten them, the prosecutor in the case said Wednesday.
Nellie Angutiguluk, an Inuk mother of three, was found dead of apparent ligature strangulation in an apartment she shared with Kwasi Benjamin.
Crown attorney Dennis Galiatsatos argued during the trial in a Montreal courtroom that Benjamin strangled the 29-year-old following an argument.
Galiatsatos said the jury was convinced by the forensic evidence in the case and rejected the defence's theory that Angutiguluk's death was a suicide.
"The verdict provides me with some relief because I know, and it has been voiced a lot in the last month, that many Aboriginal communities feel either abandoned or forgotten by the justice system and I certainly hope this verdict gives them hope," he said.
Galiatsatos was referring to two separate verdicts in February where the accused were found not guilty in the deaths of indigenous people.
A jury acquitted Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley, 56, in the shooting death of Boushie, 22, a member of the Red Pheasant First Nation.
Jurors in Winnipeg found Raymond Cormier not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2014 death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, whose body was pulled from the Red River in the summer of 2014.
Benjamin's sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 4.