Friday, 6 Dec 2019

Edmonton man gets 8-year sentence in 2014 death of Freda Goodrunning

WARNING: This story contains graphic and disturbing content.

A man has been sentenced for the death of a woman whose body was found in a west Edmonton storage shed nearly five years ago.

Jesse Martin received an eight-year prison sentence in the June 2014 death of 35-year-old Freda Goodrunning.

Martin was originally charged with second-degree murder in Goodrunning’s death but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in December 2018.

Goodrunning’s body was found by police in a storage shed on June 4, 2014.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Martin and Goodrunning were in a “domestic relationship.”

Shortly before Goodrunning’s death, she and Martin were drinking behind a grocery store in west Edmonton with several other people. At one point, the group went to a shed by Stony Plain Road and 174 Street. The structure was once used by a local restaurant before it closed but had on occasion been used for shelter by people in the group.

According to the agreed statement of facts, once they were in the shed — intoxicated — Martin and another member of the group who was previously in a relationship with Goodrunning, got in an argument about her that escalated to physical violence. The rest of the group left but one person saw Martin hit Goodrunning, according to the statement.

When returning to the shed later, the same witness saw Martin hitting Goodrunning in the head and body with a golf club.

“During the course of the continued beating… the head of the golf club broke off from the shaft of the golf club,” court documents read. “[Goodrunning] was stabbed multiple times with the broken end of the golf club shaft.”

According to the agreed statement of facts, Goodrunning was then dragged to the front of the shed and covered with a sleeping bag and left alone. Martin did not seek help for Goodrunning at any point.

An autopsy later showed Goodrunning suffered extensive injuries to “every part of the head,” including 11 “penetrating injuries to the face.” She also suffered serious injuries to other parts of her body. The autopsy concluded she died of multiple blunt and penetrating injuries.

The Crown had requested 10 years, while the defence suggested a sentence of six to eight years.

— With files from Phil Heidenreich 

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