by Jennifer Saltman,
Special to the Langley Advance
An Aldergrove man who murdered two vulnerable women and was suspected of killing a third has been sentenced to life in prison.
Davey Mato Butorac, 37, was convicted in April of the second-degree murder of 50-year-old Sheryl Lynn Koroll. At a sentencing hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on Friday, Butorac also pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Gwendolyn Jo Lawton, 46.
Following a joint submission by Crown and defence, he was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 18 years. Butorac was given credit for the time he has spent in custody since his arrest in January 2008 — on a 1:1 basis — and it counts toward his parole ineligibility.
A third murder charge — in connection with the death of 47-year-old Margaret Redford — was stayed by the Crown.
Butorac was tried for and convicted of the murders of Koroll and Lawton in July 2010. He was sentenced in July 2011 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 23 years; however, he appealed his convictions and the cases were severed, with new trials ordered for each.
Butorac was retried for Koroll’s murder first. The three-week trial was held before a jury in New Westminster in March and April, after which he was convicted of second-degree murder. A new trial date was not set for Lawton’s case.
Lawton’s body was found on March 13, 2007, dumped over an embankment beside a rural road in Abbotsford. Lawton had been beaten and strangled. Three-and-a-half months later, Koroll’s body was found in the parking lot of a Langley industrial park. Koroll, who was also beaten, died of a skull fracture.
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PHOTO: Gwendolyn Lawton and Sheryl Lynn Koroll were victims of Davey Butorac who has been sentenced to 18 years in jail.
Both women were addicted to drugs and worked in the sex trade.
Butorac was also accused of killing Redford. Her body was found floating in Aldergrove’s Bertrand Creek on May 20, 2006. Butorac lived just 500 metres from where Redford’s body was discovered. He was charged with second-degree murder in March 2010.
Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie said during a telephone interview on Monday that the decision to stay the charge in Redford’s case as part of the plea agreement was not reached lightly.
“The case involving Margaret Redford had not proceeded to trial — the others were being dealt with first — but taking into account the previous court rulings and the relative strength of the evidence, the Crown concluded it was appropriate to accept a guilty plea in relation to Gwendolyn Lawton and not pursue the case in relation to Ms. Redford,” he said.
– Jennifer Saltman is a reporter with the Vancouver Province.
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