Bashir Gaashaan sentenced in murder case

  • Oct. 28, 2015 2:47 p.m.

Bashir Gaashaan, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder in relation to the 2011 death of a young Red Deer mother, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison without the chance of parole for 10 years.

Last week, Gaashaan, 33, pleaded guilty to second degree murder and offering indignity to a human body on what was supposed to be the first day of a three-week trial. The charges are as a result of the death of Jenna Cartwright, 21, in 2011. Gaashaan was initially charged with first degree murder in which he pleaded not guilty to.

Cartwright was found partially clothed on a rural road near the Town of Olds on May 3rd, 2011. Her cousin had reported her missing on April 20th, 2011.

In an Agreed Statement of Facts that was read into the record last week, court heard that Gaashaan and Cartwright had left a mutual friend’s house together and went to Gaashaan’s residence on March 30th, 2011. The document also stated the pair had consumed cocaine together at his home. Gaashaan had left the room and upon his return noticed some drugs had gone missing. He questioned Cartwright and then proceeded to enter his bedroom. The Agreed Statement of Facts indicated that Cartwright leaped onto Gaashaan’s back and a struggle ensued.

The document stated that Gaashaan strangled Cartwright until she was unconscious and then gagged her with a black cloth. Gaashaan bound her hands and wrapped her face in plastic and wrapped her body in a duvet.

He then put her body in the basement. The Agreed Statement of Facts stated Gaashaan tried to bury Cartwright’s body but the ground was frozen, so he left her on a rural road near the Town of Olds. Her body was found on May 3rd, 2011 by a passerby.

Gaashaan was arrested on June 13th, 2011 in Thunder Bay after being charged with taking a motor vehicle without consent. At the time of his arrest for the murder, Gaashaan was already in custody serving time for a 45-day sentence he was given for the previous incident. Gaashaan has remained in custody since being brought back to Red Deer.

The Agreed Statement of Facts also showed that during his interview with police, Gaashaan admitted to killing Cartwright.

After pleading guilty to second degree murder, Gaashaan received an automatic sentence of 25 years in prison. His parole eligibility, which can range from 10-25 years, was determined by Justice Donna Read last Thursday afternoon. She set his eligibility at 10 years.

“In reading the victim impact statements it is evident that the victim was a well loved daughter and mother. No sentence I can impose will ever bring her back or lessen the pain to the family; I can only offer my sincere condolences,” said Read before handing down her sentence. “This does not seem like it was premeditated. It was an impulsive act resulting in the loss of control. I am satisfied that Mr. Gaashaan is genuinely sorry for his actions.”

Read also sentenced Gaashaan to three and a half years in prison for the charge of offering indignity to a body. That sentence will be served concurrently with the second degree murder sentence.

After Gaashaan serves his sentence, he faces deportation back to Somalia.

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