The Glengarry News

First-degree murder conviction

publisher Jul 5, 2021 - 1:09pm

Brandon Smeltzer, who admitted to killing Émilie Maheu of Green Valley in 2018 has been convicted of first-degree murder.

The man who admitted to killing Émilie Maheu of Green Valley in 2018 has been convicted of first-degree murder. Brandon Smeltzer, 27, originally from Bayside, Nova Scotia, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 26-year old woman, the mother of a daughter who was 22 months old at the time of her death. In her verdict handed down Monday, Ontario Superior Court Judge Laurie Lacelle concluded that Smeltzer had planned to kill his former partner, whose body was found October 13, 2018, two days after she had been reported missing. He will be sentenced August 5. Smeltzer had admitted to killing Ms. Maheu and dumping her body in a farm field in South Glengarry. “I did the crime, I will do the time,” he blurted out when he made his court appearance in 2018. But later, during a lengthy trial, his defence lawyer sought a second-degree murder charge, arguing that his client acted spontaneously. The first-degree murder conviction means that Smeltzer will not be able to apply for parole for a minimum of 25 years. If he had been convicted of second-degree murder, he would have been eligible to seek parole several years earlier. Ms. Maheu, who had a daughter with the accused, had been reported missing October 11 at 8:30 p.m., about seven hours after she left the Alexandria chiropractic clinic where she worked. Her lifeless body was found on Concession 3 east of Lancaster at 11:30 a.m. October 13. During earlier court appearances, Smeltzer had said that he was suffering from cancer, a claim that proved to be false. In 2015, Smeltzer had pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman in Bayside. He received a conditional discharge and was placed on probation for a year. Smeltzer and Ms. Maheu met while they both worked at Mills Heavy Hauling near Halifax. She had returned to this area to start a new life with her daughter  in 2018. The murder rocked the area. At the same time, the crime brought the community together in grief and raised awareness of domestic violence. Shortly after her murder, about 200 people, many of whom did not know the victim,  attended a candlelight vigil in memory of Émilie Maheu.