CALGARY — It will be 18 years before a Calgary father who killed his two children and attempted to strangle his wife in 2009 will be eligible for parole.
Justice Earl Wilson of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench sentenced James Bing Louie to a pair of mandatory life sentences Tuesday for the second-degree murder of the couple’s 13-year-old son Jason and nine-year-old daughter Jane. He was also found guilty of trying to murder Ying Tang, his estranged wife.
Louie will not be eligible to apply for parole for 18 years. The Crown had requested the mark be 25 years — which is the maximum — because of the severity of the crime. The defence had recommended 14 or 15.
“It is important to note this is not one murder but (the deaths of) two innocent children of the accused,” said Wilson.
“I am satisfied both children realized what was happening and felt terror,” he said.
“The only blessing is the children’s suffering must have been brief.”
Louie strangled his son with a rope and smothered his daughter on Nov. 27, 2009 and then waited for his estranged wife to return home.
During the trial, Tang described finding the cold bodies of her dead children when she arrived at the family home and explained how Louie tried to strangle her with a rope.
Tang, who had moved out as her marriage crumbled, called 911 to say she was worried because she couldn’t reach her children who were with their father at the family home.
She was delayed in traffic and police didn’t go to check things out. By the time she got to the house, it was too late. Officers were dispatched when she called 911 again and managed a cry for help as she was being attacked.
“He was otherwise a loving, doting father. His world was really his family,” said Justice Wilson.
“It was about control. This is a man who was watching his family leave him. These murders were his reaction to the breakup of his family.”
Wilson took into account that Louie was suffering from depression and insomnia. He has also recommended that he serve part of his sentence in a psychiatric institution.
Defence lawyer Noel O’Brien said the sentence was fair.
“I’m happy at least that the recommendation is he spend some time in a psychiatric facility. I think that’s necessary,” O’Brien told reporters outside court.
“I can say his mental state is not good and hopefully once he is settled in at a facility they’ll be able to work with him. It’s been a very difficult 18 months. The system is not really geared toward rehabilitating somebody’s mental health.”