A Burnaby father of five accused of stabbing his estranged wife to death in front of their three young daughters has been convicted of second-degree murder.
The accused, who can be identified only by the initials O.V. due to a publication ban, admitted at trial that in September 2009 he stabbed his wife, identified only as L.V.
His lawyer argued that he was not criminally responsible because he was suffering from delusions.
In her reasons for judgment, the trial judge, B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Catherine Bruce, concluded that O.V. had a mental disorder at the time of the offence.
Court heard that his delusional beliefs included that his wife was unfaithful to him, was prostituting herself and their daughters, and was poisoning him and using witchcraft to make him crazy and sexually impotent.
"These delusions would be far more capable of convincing the defendant that he must kill his wife to protect the children if such beliefs were firmly held," said the judge.
But it was uncertain whether he was suffering from the delusions at the time of the slaying, she added.
Furthermore, the judge found there was little evidence that the accused did not appreciate the nature and quality of his actions and perceive the consequences, impact and result of stabbing her.
And on at least three occasions O.V. acknowledged knowing he had killed his spouse or realized she was dead because he saw her body on the floor of the living room in the family home, she said.
Court heard that two months prior to the stabbing, O.V. had been told to leave the family home following a history of verbal and physical abuse of L.V. and the children.
On the day of the slaying, he arrived unannounced and got into an argument with L.V., according to statements by the children to police.
He went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and entered the living room where he stabbed her 15 times, all but one of the stab wounds hitting a vital organ. She bled to death.
The couple's three young girls, aged 10, seven and three, were in the home at the time and witnessed the murder.
After O.V. fled the scene, the three girls ran next door for help and a neighbour called 911.
The trial heard a 911 call in which one of the girls tearfully described how her dad had stabbed her mom to death.
"How did he get into the house?" asked the 911 operator.
"I don't know," replied the girl. "We didn't know that he was going to start killing my mom."
O.V., who had a prior conviction for assaulting the victim as well as a conviction for mischief involving a domestic incident, was arrested at a nearby gas station.
The couple's two older boys were at school at the time of their mother's murder.
Second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no parole eligibility for a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years.
The issue on sentencing will be O.V.'s parole ineligibility. The verdict was handed down Monday afternoon. The case was put over until Jan. 30 to fix a date for sentencing.