Leanne Friesen of Abbotsford was killed in Abbotsford on Feb. 5, 2013. Her estranged husband, Jeffrey Friesen, has been convicted of her murder.

Leanne Friesen of Abbotsford was killed in Abbotsford on Feb. 5, 2013. Her estranged husband, Jeffrey Friesen, has been convicted of her murder.

Killer’s parole eligibility set at 12 years

Jeffrey Friesen of Abbotsford previously convicted of second-degree murder

Jeffrey Friesen, who was convicted earlier this year of killing his estranged wife Leanne in February 2013 in Abbotsford, will not be eligible for parole for 12 years, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has decided.

A jury found Friesen guilty of second-degree murder in late January. The conviction comes with an automatic life sentence, but parole eligibility can range from 10 to 25 years and is determined by the courts.

A sentencing hearing for Friesen concluded last Friday. The Crown had recommended that Friesen not be eligible for parole for 15 years, while the defence suggested 10 years.

Evidence presented at trial indicated that Leanne had been shot twice in her torso by a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun from a distance of about five feet.

The shooting took place in the garage of their home on Cassiar Court, and Friesen left Leanne’s body there for about 36 hours until police made the discovery and arrested him.

Although both of their kids were home at the time of the killing, Friesen kept them away from the garage and told them that the bangs they heard were a shelf falling down in the garage.

At trial, he admitted to the shooting, but defence lawyer Lisa Jean Helps argued that Friesen was in a “dissociative state” at the time and should be found “not criminally responsible” for the killing.

The couple were separated at the time, and the Crown presented witnesses who said Leanne had told them about verbal threats from Friesen, including that he would kill her if he ever saw her with another man.