- Our Town
Woman sentenced on manslaughter, arson charges
A Brazilian woman has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for her role in the death of a Marysville man in March 2013.
Claudia de Assumpcao was sentenced on charges of arson and manslaughter for her role in the death of Jordon Lomsnes by Justice Terrence Schultes in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
Lomsnes died of carbon monoxide poisoning from smoke inhalation that came from a fire outside his bedroom. De Assumpcao started the fire after an argument between the two as a way of lashing out against Lomsnes by damaging his property, which she believed he valued more than her.
De Assumpcao, 41, has been in custody since her arrest the day after the incident on March 7, 2013 and pleaded guilty to manslaughter and arson charges last year.
She was given a pre-trial credit of four years, six months and six days of time served for the manslaughter charge and sentenced concurrently to one day for the arson charge.
Without the credit of pre-trial time served, the manslaughter sentence is seven years and the arson sentence is two years to be served concurrently.
Crown and defence counsel had presented their sentencing arguments in early February, with Justice Schultes delivering his decision on Thursday.
Justice Schultes referred to a report from a psychiatrist that detailed De Assumpcao’s history of mental illness, including personality disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Major Depressive Disorder, severe anxiety and four suicide attempts in his report. However, he added that her mental health history didn’t excuse the moral culpability for her actions and took issue with an addendum to the report that noted she wasn’t a danger to anyone but herself.
De Assumpcao and Lomsnes met over the Internet in 2012, with De Assumpcao moving in with him after spending a week together in Vancouver.
The relationship soured after a year and De Assumpcao moved out of the couple’s bedroom into a room in the basement as she worked towards obtaining sponsorship to become a permanent resident of Canada.
On the evening of March 7, 2013, Lomsnes had been drinking with a friend in a outbuilding beside his house before having a verbal argument with De Assumpcao in the kitchen.
Lomsnes went to bed lightly intoxicated and De Assumpcao stared a fire in the hallway outside the door using gas from a jerry can. De Assumpcao left the house and waited outside, expecting Lomsnes to emerge soon afterwards.
The next day, De Assumpcao met with a social worker at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital, who called RCMP after their conversation.
Justice Schultes noted that aggravating factors included starting the fire right outside the bedroom and that he did not accept that she was targeting his possessions. Mitigating factors included it being a first-time offence, her relative youth, her guilty plea, and expressions of remorse for her actions.