YELLOWKNIFE — The bereaved widow of a slain RCMP officer shouted at the man who pumped several shots into her husband as she read a victim impact statement Thursday during a sentencing hearing at the conclusion of a dramatic murder trial.
“There is no reason you had to pull the trigger of that gun four times,” Jodie Worden yelled as she told Emrah Bulatci, 25, of the destruction his actions have caused in her life.
A jury convicted Bulatci of first-degree murder in the slaying of Const. Chris Worden two years ago in Hay River, N.W.T., and a judge sentenced him to life in prison with no parole for 25 years.
The grief-stricken woman referred to Bulatci as a “cowardly criminal” and told court she tells her daughter, Alexis, every night that her father loves her and is in heaven.
The 30-year-old constable was responding to a call in Hay River, N.W.T., on Oct. 6, 2007, when he was shot four times in a wooded area next to an apartment building.
Worden’s mother, Mary Ann, read a letter in court that she’d written to her son, saying her zest for life is gone. No mother should have to endure the pain of seeing her child die, she said.
Worden was fatally shot the same day his parents would have celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary.
It was devastating “not being able to cradle your face and tell you ‘I love you’ one more time,” said the anguished woman.
Mary Ann Worden said she refused to utter Bulatci’s name in her letter because she didn’t want to afford him that dignity.
“I will never forgive this person for killing you and shattering our lives,” she said.
After imposing sentence, Justice John Vertes said the murder wasn’t just a tragedy for the Worden family. Bulatci’s parents have also experienced their own pain by watching their son fall into the world of drug dealing and then be convicted in the officer’s slaying, the judge said.
When the jury read its verdict earlier in the day, Bulatci hung his head and Jodie Worden burst into tears.
Bulatci, who is from St. Albert just north of Edmonton, testified he fired twice at the officer’s legs during a foot chase, but never meant to kill him.
The Crown argued that Bulatci did intend to kill the Mountie because he continued to keep enough pressure on the trigger for the gun to go off not once, but twice.