Christina Asp was sentenced to two years in prison this morning for contempt of court.
She is currently serving a life sentence for the second degree murder of Gordon Seybold in 2008.
She was called to testify earlier this year during the trial of her former partner Norman LaRue for the first degree murder of Seybold.
The lawyer for the Crown argued that a great deal of time and resources went into ensuring that LaRue received a fair trial, and that Asp put that in jeopardy.
He asked for a two-year sentence.
The defence lawyer relied heavily on Asp’s traumatic young life in her arguments.
She said that Asp “broke down” after the conclusion of her own trial, and “she felt very strongly that she couldn’t go through it again.”
Asp’s lawyer asked for a sentence of 15-18 months.
Justice Scott Brooker said in his decision that arguments for the defence were “not very persuasive.”
It is not up to a witness to determine for themselves if they are prepared to testify, he said.
Refusing to testify is a “serious matter” that “strikes at the very heart of our justice system,” said Brooker.
He sided with the Crown and ruled that a two-year sentence is appropriate.
However, the sentence will be served concurrently with her life sentence, since a consecutive sentence is not permitted by law.
The judge can also not change the amount of time Asp must serve before she is eligible for parole, set at 15 years.
Instead, he urged authorities to take his decision into account when determining if she should be released on parole.
If they do not, it would send a message to others in her position that they may flout orders of the court with impunity, he said.