Anderson sentenced to life
Will remain in jail until at least 2021
PICTOU – A New Glasgow man received a life sentence for the strangling death of his former girlfriend yesterday in Supreme Court.
Matthew Craig Anderson, 27, was charged with second degree murder after the body of Jamie Lynn Walsh, then 21 years old, was discovered in her Temperance Street apartment.
Medical reports concluded the cause of Walsh's death was "asphyxia due to ligature strangulation."
The decision, rendered by Justice Ted Scanlon, was a joint submission by Crown attorneys and Anderson's defence.
A statement of fact, signed by Anderson, states that on the day Walsh was murdered, Anderson had contacted her to arrange a scheduled visit with their five-month-old daughter, Eve. The two had been in a common-law relationship, which lasted five years and ended September 2006.
Walsh's father, James, discovered her body the day of the visit. Anderson was arrested at his new girlfriend's Nelson Street apartment in the early morning hours of Jan. 2, 2007.
James Walsh, who along with Jamie Lynn Walsh's twin sister Emily read out victim impact statements in Supreme Court yesterday, said he felt that prosecutors did what they felt what they were expected to do.
"If you're asking me if I'm satisfied – what can I say, it doesn't change anything," he said.
"We pay the price for living in Canada. For this crime, I would have rather lived in Texas, but I don't like Texas. I'd much rather live in Canada. So, we pay the price."
Anderson will not be eligible for parole until January 2021. He faces a firearms ban for the rest of his life.
Grieving family watches as killer sentenced to life
The Chronicle Herald
By MONICA GRAHAM
Tue. Nov 4 - 5:42 AM
PICTOU — There is only one person to blame for the murder of Jamie Lynn Victoria Walsh, a judge told the young woman’s grieving family Monday.
Matthew Craig Anderson, 27, strangled Ms. Walsh to death on Jan. 1, 2007, said Justice Ted Scanlan of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
Mr. Anderson used a coaxial electronics cable, a power cord and a length of fabric to strangle the 21-year-old, whose face was covered with plastic bags.
"It was not because the locks were not changed that your daughter died," Justice Scanlan told James Walsh, the dead woman’s father.
The judge sentenced Mr. Anderson to life in prison with no parole for at least 14 years.
Mr. Anderson was scheduled to have his Supreme Court trial heard in January by a jury, but he decided to have his case heard by a judge and Monday morning pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
His sentence includes providing a DNA sample and a lifetime ban on possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.
"The impact of what you did, Mr. Anderson, is profound," the judge said, adding that he hoped the parole board would carefully examine Mr. Anderson’s record before risking his potential release in 2021.
Mr. Anderson, who appeared in court in baggy prison garb with his brown hair combed forward to cover the top half of his face, spoke little during the hearing, but his lawyer offered Mr. Anderson’s apologies to the Walsh family.
In a victim impact statement, Mr. Walsh told the court how the trauma of finding his daughter’s body had adversely affected his health, ability to work and livelihood. He expressed regret that he had delayed changing the locks to keep Mr. Anderson out.
"I knew Matthew was a liar and a con man," Mr. Walsh said, adding that he didn’t realize his daughter was in grave danger. "I didn’t know he was capable of hurting people."
The murder had destroyed the Walsh family’s joy at the way Jamie Lynn, 21, had embraced being the mother of a baby girl fathered by Mr. Anderson, he said.
"Everything seemed to fall apart," Jamie Lynn’s twin sister, Emily, said in the victim impact statement she read to the court. She said she now doesn’t feel safe anywhere and her sister’s death tore her family apart, she said.
Justice Scanlan said the tragedy had affected the family at every level, but Mr. Anderson’s guilty plea and sentence meant they avoided the trauma of reliving the event and ensured a life sentence, he said.
Ms. Walsh had custody of the baby girl after the relationship between her and Mr. Anderson broke down in September 2006. Mr. Anderson’s access to the child allowed him to cause Ms. Walsh’s "horrific death," Justice Scanlan said.
"The courts must always be cognizant of the dangers" during such visits, he said.
Jamie Lynn’s mother, Susan Walsh, also filed a victim impact statement and one on behalf of Jamie Lynn’s daughter, now two years old, whom she and her husband are raising.
The little girl is doing well and says "angel momma" when she sees her mother’s photo, Mrs. Walsh said.
Nothing will bring Jamie Lynn back, but support from family, friends and the whole community is helping them begin to move on with their lives, Mr. Walsh said.
"I couldn’t think of a better community to live in," he said. "I wish I could thank every one of them."