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Kalen Schlatter guilty of first-degree murder in death of Tess Richey

NEWS STAFF, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Mar 24th, 2020

Kalen Schlatter has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Tess Richey.

The jury began deliberating on Friday and had to weigh more than a month’s worth of Crown evidence before reaching its verdict on Monday evening.

When the verdict was read a woman cried out “Yes!” and others burst into tears.

Schlatter, 23, had pleaded not guilty to killing Richey, whose body was found in an outdoor stairwell in Toronto’s Gay Village.

Schlatter took the stand in his own defence, testifying that Richey was alive when he left her following a consensual sexual encounter in the early morning hours of Nov. 25, 2017.

Prosecutors, however, successfully argued that Schlatter was determined to have sex with Richey, who he had met hours earlier, and lured her into the alley where he forced himself on her and strangled her when she attempted to fight him off.

The jury heard that Schlatter’s semen was found on Richey’s pants and his saliva on the inside of her bra.

Jurors also viewed security footage that showed the pair walking into the alley together just before 4:15 a.m. with Schlatter leaving alone roughly 45 minutes later.

Richey was never seen alive again.

It’s not yet clear when Schlatter will be sentenced. The COVID-19 pandemic could push sentencing back until June, the judge said before calling a recess to discuss with lawyers.

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