'I REMEMBER STARTING TO SCREAM. I WAS HYSTERICAL. I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT WAS TRUE.'
KELOWNA – The man who admits he killed his ex-fiance in their Hiawatha mobile home two years ago was sentenced to 12 years in prison today, Oct. 21.
Ryan James Quigley, 37, was initially charged with second degree murder for stabbing Aimee Parkes 26 times on March 31, 2014. Her body was found the next day when she failed to turn up for work and Quigley was found sleeping in an SUV in downtown Kelowna April 4 that same year. She had been stabbed in the body, neck, face and head. Her body had been dragged to a hallway where he put a pillow under her head and a bottle of water with a straw by her side. A doctor testified it would have taken her up to an hour to die.
Parkes’ parents, who live in the U.K., got the news by telephone while vacationing in France.
“I remember starting to scream,” Parkes mother said in Kelowna Supreme Court Oct. 21. “I was hysterical. I couldn’t believe it was true. There are no words to describe the emotion a parent feels when they learn their child is dead. I couldn’t believe Aimee had been murdered. I felt I needed to be in Kelowna immediately but I was so far away. I was frantic and I felt absolutely helpless. This was the first time that Aimee had not been at the airport to pick us up. And it broke my heart.”
She described her daughter as a passionate volunteer who loved cats and reading. The courtroom was packed with friends and family of Parkes, many of whom cried when her mother spoke of their weekly Sunday phone calls.
“I still have a clock on my coffee table that’s set to Aimee’s time,” she said. “Her schedule still runs through my mind. It’s a constant reminder that she’s gone.”
He underwent weeks of trial for second degree murder before Justice Alison Beames accepted a surprise joint submission this week that included a guilty plea to the charge of manslaughter in Kelowna Supreme Court.
During final submissions, Crown prosecutor Colin Forsyth said Quigley was high on crack cocaine when he killed Parkes following an argument about him leaving the mobile home they shared on Lakeshore Road.
She was “at her wits end,” he said. “He had to be out of the residence.”
Forsyth said Quigley had been stealing her personal property, which he’d sell to buy drugs and in fact he was arrested April 4 outside a “crack shack” where he had traded a bracelet Parkes had received from her mother.
After the killing he also tried to sell her vehicle and took personal identification from her purse.
When the credit card was eventually declined, he phoned the issuer and in a false British accent pretended to be Parkes in an attempt to change the pin to her credit card.
A pre-sentence report says Quigley, a member of the Okanagan Indian Band, had stopped taking medication he was prescribed for a bipolar disorder in the weeks prior to the killing.
Justice Beames sentenced Quigley to 12 years in jail, which is on the high end for manslaughter.
With time served he has nine years and five months remaining.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.