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Archive for Thursday, December 1, 2005

Judge lifts court-ordered restrictions on ex-inmate

December 1, 2005

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— A judge Wednesday lifted all restrictions against a woman who served 12 years in prison for her role in the rape and murder of three teenagers, considered one of Canada's most notorious crimes.

The ruling by Quebec Superior Justice James Brunton means Karla Homolka, who was convicted of manslaughter in 1993, does not have to report regularly to police, can go where she wants and see whom she pleases.

Homolka, 35, received the relatively light sentence of 12 years in prison for helping her ex-husband rape and murder teenagers Kristen French, 15, and Leslie Mahaffy, 14, in the early 1990s.

In return, she agreed to testify against ex-husband Paul Bernardo, a Toronto bookkeeper serving a life term in an Ontario prison for two counts of first-degree murder.

In sentencing Homolka, the court also considered her role in the 1990 death of her 15-year-old sister, Tammy, who died on Christmas Eve after Homolka held a drug-soaked cloth over her face while Bernardo raped her.

Homolka told the court and psychiatrists she was a battered wife who took part in the rapes and murders to protect herself and her family.

Months after prosecutors made the plea bargain, however, Bernardo's attorneys handed over homemade videotapes by the couple that indicated Homolka was a willing participant, drawing the ire of Canadians.

When she was released in July, a Superior Court judge in Montreal imposed several restrictions, which her attorneys argued violated the plea bargain agreement.

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