Quebec mother found guilty of second-degree murder in daughters’ deaths

LAVAL, Que. — A Quebec woman whose two young daughters were found dead in the family home in 2009, lying side by side in their school uniforms, has been found guilty of second-degree murder.

Adele Sorella barely reacted as the guilty verdicts were read Tuesday in the deaths of Amanda, 9, and Sabrina, 8. She shed a few tears as she acknowledged loved ones leaving the courtroom in the Montreal suburb of Laval.

A second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for at least 10 years. Invited by the judge to offer sentencing suggestions, two jurors suggested she should be eligible for parole in 10 years while the other 10 jurors said it should be after 20 years.

It was the second trial on the charges for the 53-year-old Sorella. In 2013, she was found guilty of first-degree murder, but the verdict was overturned in 2017 when the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled the trial judge had erred in her instructions to the jury.

The 12 jurors were sequestered last Wednesday, with the verdict coming after six days of deliberations. Their task was complicated by the fact the girls’ bodies showed no signs of violence, and the cause of death was never established.

A pathologist testified that a hyerbaric chamber in the house used to treat Sabrina’s juvenile arthritis was a possible cause of death by asphyxia. But the defence stressed that the cause of death remained unproven and that someone else could have entered the house.

The defence also argued that even if the jury concluded Sorella killed her daughters, she should be found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

Sorella told the court she had little memory of the day, March 31, 2009, when her daughters were found dead. And medical experts testified that Sorella experienced a dissociative episode the day of the killings.

Ultimately, the jury rejected that theory.

Crown prosecutor Simon Lapierre told the jury Sorella alone had the opportunity to kill her daughters. He said it was impossible that another person entered the family home and killed the girls, noting that there was no evidence of a break-in or struggle.

He said there was no reason to think the deaths were accidental. He reminded jurors of a first responder’s testimony that the girls were found side by side in their playroom, as if they had been laid there.

Just Posted

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Fog advisory in effect for Red Deer, central Alberta

Heavy fog is affecting visibility for central Alberta drivers Saturday morning. A… Continue reading

Climate change’s impact on outdoor hockey discussed in Red Deer

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance held a forum Friday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Collision between Red Deer transit bus and truck investigated by RCMP

No one on bus was hurt, truck driver had minor injuries

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Montreal priest stabbed during mass leaves hospital; suspect to be charged

MONTREAL — A Catholic priest who was stabbed as he was celebrating… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $35.7 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $35.7 million jackpot… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Quebec man convicted in Mafia-linked conspiracy deported to Italy

MONTREAL — Michele Torre, a Quebec man convicted in 1996 for his… Continue reading

Republican Karl Rove says conservatives need more than simplistic slogans

OTTAWA — Legendary Republican campaign strategist Karl Rove, known for his no-holds-barred… Continue reading

B.C. hospital’s use as shelter ‘clarion call’ about housing crisis, says mayor

The 10-bed regional hospital that serves the medical needs of 5,000 people… Continue reading

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Most Read