Life sentence for woman who took part in rape, murder of Edmonton teen

An Edmonton woman has been given a life sentence for her role in the brutal rape and fatal beating of a 13-year-old girl on a golf course.

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman has been given a life sentence for her role in the brutal rape and fatal beating of a 13-year-old girl on a golf course.

Stephanie Bird, one of five people charged in the April 2005 killing of Nina Courtepatte, was initially given a 12-year sentence after she was found guilty of manslaughter.

But the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the conviction last December and ruled that the 22-year-old woman was guilty of first-degree murder.

Trial testimony suggested Bird struck the first blow and held Nina down during the rape, but Bird’s lawyer argued that she should be absolved of murder because she left the scene before the fatal beating began.

In a unanimous decision, the high court concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to show Bird, who was 17 at the time of the killing, had had a change of heart.

Bird, who was convicted as a young offender and sentenced as an adult, has been behind bars for five years and will be eligible to apply for parole in another five.