Awai family calls McDonald's life sentence 'justice'
LONDON, ONT -- William Dwayne McDonald, 29, who has been convicted in two separate murders, must serve 23 years of his life sentence before being eligible for parole for his first murder conviction.
Justice Jonathon George said, "There is no prospect of rehabilitation and no remorse shown at all," by McDonald
Last summer McDonald was found guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death of Emmanuel Awai. The 26-year-old Awai was shot to death at a Connaught Avenue apartment in December of 2016.
A conviction of second-degree murder comes with an automatic life sentence, however the judge had to decide how long McDonald would serve before being eligible for parole.
Crown attorney Konrad de Koning was asking that McDonald serve 25 years before being eligible for parole, calling him 'dangerous.'
"This was a planned and deliberate murder, it was an execution," he said of the killing of McDonald's former friend. "He's an enormous danger to the community."
Defence lawyer David Stoesser was instead asking the court to set McDonald's parole eligibility at 18 to 22 years.
Emmanuel's father, Amedeo Awai, says, "Justice, we have now, we are happy about that, but yet we are losing him."
But he says it still doesn't make up for the loss his son, and he's worried about what would happen if McDonald was released.
"I'm afraid. If he comes back I'm so much afraid what will happen."
Emmanuel's partner Rebecca Schlax was pregnant with his daughter Manuella at the time of his death. She says there is a sense of "peace and closure" that McDonald will be going away for a long time.
She says her daughter helped her get through the whole ordeal, but knows she'll have questions down the road.
"When my daughter gets older it's inevitable she's going to want to know what happened to her daddy. It just breaks my heart to know, like I don't even know how I'm going to tell her, it's something I always ask myself."
Next month, McDonald is expected to be back in court to set a sentencing date in another case.
In October he was found guilty of the same charge in the shooting death of Jonathan Zak. A co-accused, Thomas Lako, 28 was found guilty of manslaughter in the killing.
Zak, 29, was shot in May of 2012 as he walked home through a north London park.
Zak's family and friends was in the courtroom to support the Awai family through the sentencing on Thursday.
- With files from CTV London's Amanda Taccone