NEW WESTMINSTER – A North Delta woman who killed her commonlaw husband by stabbing him in the chest during a domestic fight will remain on bail until she’s sentenced on Dec. 18.
Beatrice Thomas, 38, was found guilty of manslaughter on July 11, in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
After the verdict, Thomas ventured outside the courthouse with her family for a smoke. Asked for her reaction to the verdict, she replied, “It is what it is.”
Thomas was tried for second-degree murder in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster this past winter for stabbing 37-year-old Quannah O’Soup on July 3, 2011. Justice Trevor Armstrong presided.
The couple had rented a small half-duplex at 11540 80th Ave. in North Delta across the street from the entrance to McCloskey Elementary school and lived there with Thomas’s daughters, who were ages 10 and 15 at the time.
The girls were in their bedroom and didn’t witness the violence that had unfolded in the living room, shortly after midnight.
Armstrong’s verdict was prefaced by a
lengthy and detailed recitation of his reasons for decision. The judge found the Crown hadn’t proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Thomas intended to murder O’Soup.
But he also decided that the injury Thomas inflicted on O’Soup was disproportionate to a finding of self-defence.
The court heard Thomas and O’Soup financed their crack
cocaine habits by shoplifting and had been engaged in a relationship power struggle.
A couple staying with them at the time were in the kitchen when O’Soup was stabbed but didn’t see it happen. O’Soup died at the scene, of a single stab wound that punctured his lung and heart.
Armstrong noted there was a “significant” amount of cocaine in his blood. He found
no reliable evidence as to how things unfolded in the living room, or what Thomas’s state of mind was at the time, but concluded that Thomas, with arm raised, thrust a knife down into O’Soup’s chest
as he advanced on her from a distance of about seven feet.
Armstrong said there was no evidence that Thomas had been unable to leave the room, seek help from her friends in the kitchen, or leave the house.
“The way was clear for her to retreat,” he said, adding she had “ample opportunity to remove herself from the living room.
“She should have been able to
preserve herself without killing Mr. O’Soup,” Armstrong decided.
Outside court the victim’s elder brother, Spencer O’Soup, said he respected the verdict and will now work on healing.
“There’s no winners and losers on both sides of this,” he said.
His brother’s death has created a “huge burden” on his family emotionally,
financially and spiritually, he added.
Spencer O’Soup said his brother’s five children have “all been very devastated by the loss of their father” and that he is trying to help them heal.
At the outset of the trial, he told the Now he felt no ill will toward Thomas.
“I’m not here to have pitchforks and fire,” he said at the time. “For me, it’s about healing.
“I don’t feel hatred or anything like that,” he said. “I feel a lot of compassion. I feel really sorry for her.”
He said his brother and Thomas had met in Edmonton and had been together for about a year. She followed him to the Coast, he said. “She made her way here with her kids.”
“Their relationship was toxic, eh,” Spencer said. “It was desperation. The relationship was up and down.”
He said his younger brother had five children of his own in Edmonton. The eldest is 22, and the youngest are twins, age 10.