Righat Ghirmay and Nighisti Semret — two innocent, hard-working immigrants — were both savagely murdered by a fellow Eritrean man that both women had helped in Canada.
Crown attorney Mary Humphrey implored Justice Michael Brown Wednesday to imprison Adonay Zekarias, 46, until he’s 86 to 91 years old by imposing a consecutive period of parole ineligibility of 20 to 25 years on top of his current term of 25 years.
Zekarias who killed and dismembered Ghirmay to stop her from revealing the earlier murder of Semret, court heard.
“It’s horrific and gruesome and no one deserves to be treated like that,” said Humphrey. “It’s a terrible ordeal for her loving family.”
Adonay Zekarias, left, listens as Crown Meaghan Scott gives an opening address to the jury on May 14, 2015 at the University Ave. courthouse. (Pam Davies /Toronto Sun)
Zekarias was convicted of second-degree murder and one count of indignity to a human body for the death of Righat Ghirmay, 28, a roommate who literally cleaned his wounds and fed him.
Zekarias described close companion Semret as “a sister,” and they shared the same bed, said Humphrey.
Zekarias is already serving life in prison for the first-degree murder of Semret, 55, an hotel maid he stabbed in a Cabbagetown laneway in October 2012.
Semret helped Zekarias fill out his documents as he applied for — and received — refugee status after fleeing religious persecution in his homeland.
Brown concluded that Zekarias killed his roommate on May 15 or 16, 2013 at her Shuter St. apartment because he feared she’d reveal he was Semret’s killer to police.
The motive was “to silence her to prevent her” from implicating him, said Brown.
“Zekarias dismembered Ghirmay and disposed of her remains in an effort to destroy evidence,” said Brown. “He wanted to cover up what he had done.”
Rigat Ghirmay, 28. (Toronto police handout)
Ghirmay’s remains were found in a duffel bag a short walk from Zekarias’ Humber Blvd. apartment in May 2013.
Zekarias was bleeding profusely when he returned home to Ghirmay some 90 minutes he knifed Semret.
Ghirmay took him to the hospital that morning and later lent him cash to fly to Germany — where he had four passports under different names, court heard.
Defence lawyer Craig Zeeh asked the court to impose a concurrent parole ineligibility period of 13 to 15 years for this murder.
Zekarias will be 66 years old in 2038 before he can apply for release on his first murder.
“The prospect of parole for a multiple murderer is slim,” said Zeeh.
Brown will sentence Zekarias on Aug. 14.
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