Garry Taylor Handlen entered a plea of not guilty to the first-degree murder of the 12-year-old Monica Jack (pictured). (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Man gets life for killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

A case involving Garry Handlen and another B.C. girl’s murder was dismissed

A judge has sentenced Garry Handlen to life in prison for killing a 12-year-old girl in 1978 but moments later dismissed a case involving allegations the man murdered another British Columbia girl three years earlier.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen called Handlen a sexual predator who preys on the vulnerable and weak to commit barbaric crimes and has already been convicted for other sexual assaults.

RELATED: Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Handlen was found guilty by a jury earlier this month of the first-degree murder of Monica Jack, who disappeared while riding her bike in Merritt on May 6, 1978.

He had also been charged with the first-degree murder of 11-year Kathryn-Mary Herbert in or near Matsqui in 1975, but pleaded not guilty after being sentenced for Jack’s murder and the Crown said it would not be presenting evidence.

A conviction of first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence of 25 years without parole, although Cullen noted Handlen is eligible to apply for parole in 15 years through the so-called faint hope clause because he killed Jack before that law was eliminated.

READ MORE: Crown tells jury to accept undercover confession of B.C. girl’s murder

Jack’s cousin Debbie John told the sentencing hearing she has carried enormous guilt about Jack’s murder because she was the one to suggest they ride their bicycles into Merritt the day Jack disappeared.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Storm knocks out power in West Kootenay

FortisBC crews are working to fix power outages

Trail family rallies for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert.”

Update: Suspect in Montrose gas station stabbing new to the area

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Most Read