A man convicted of stabbing his wife to death in a fit of rage in Mission in 2002 is seeking a reduction in his parole eligibility.
Jamie Robert Kokotailo, 55, received an automatic life sentence for first-degree murder with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
But Kokotailo is seeking a change to that under the faint-hope clause, which permits inmates who have served 15 years or more to apply for a reduction in their parole eligibility.
That provision is no longer in effect for offences committed after Dec. 2, 2011.
Kokotailo married Lori Sibley in 1999, and they lived together in a house in Mission along with two of Sibley’s daughters from a prior relationship.
Court documents state that, in the months leading up to the murder, their relationship soured, and Kokotailo was aware that Sibley had made statements “suggesting an intent to leave him for another man.”
Kokotailo planned to attempt a reconciliation with her, and he stocked the master bedroom with several knives, a baseball bat and a role of duct tape in the event she rebuffed him, the documents state.
On Dec. 1, 2002, Sibley arrived home and was followed by Kokotailo as she went to the master bedroom. A struggle began, and Sibley’s two daughters entered the bedroom to see that Kokotailo had taped Sibley’s mouth and had his hands around her throat.
The girls tried to intervene, but were overpowered by Kokotailo, who stabbed Sibley nine times with a hunting knife.
Kokotailo fled the house in Sibley’s car and, the next day, turned himself in to police. He has been in custody ever since.
Kokotailo’s application to have a faint-hope hearing was granted in December 2018. As part of a pre-hearing application, he asked that certain evidence be excluded from the hearing.
The evidence pertained to 18 separate incidents of violence committed or allegedly committed by Kokotailo prior to the killing, as well as the audio recording and written transcript of a 911 call made at the time of the killing.
The call was initiated by a friend of one of Sibley’s daughters who was on the main level of the house. Near the end of the call, the daughter grabbed the phone and went into the master bedroom as Kokotailo was stabbing Sibley to death, the court documents state.
Justice Paul Riley ruled in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on Nov. 1 that the Crown can present evidence in five of the 18 incidents of violence, as well as the transcript – but not the audio recording – of the 911 call.
If Kokotailo is granted early parole eligibility, it still means he must receive approval from the Parole Board of Canada before any release is permitted. Victims of crime can attend parole hearings and present impact statements, which the board takes into account.