Melodie Baptiste holds a photo in March 2010 of her brother Dennis Ray Baptiste, 23, who was murdered along with Jessie Edward Henderson, 23, in January of 2009. Kenneth Toby Roulette has been found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.
Credits: MARCEL CRETAIN/QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - Convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the killings of two men at a Winnipeg apartment, Kenneth Roulette smirked at his victim's family members as he was led out of court to begin serving a life sentence in prison.
Jurors reached their verdict late Thursday afternoon following 4 1/2 hours of deliberations.
Dennis Baptiste and Jesse Henderson, both 23, were fatally beaten and stabbed at Baptiste's Maryland St. apartment on Jan. 31, 2009.
"By anyone's standard, these murders were vicious and brutal," Justice Robert Dewar said.
Court heard testimony from two witnesses who said Roulette confessed to killing the two men for money.
Jurors were also told DNA evidence found at the scene and a blood trail leading out of the apartment positively tied Roulette to the killings.
Jurors were provided no evidence of a motive for the killings.
"Jesse and Daniel were just kids, two young guys who never had a chance in life," Henderson's former girlfriend wrote in a victim impact statement read out in court.
The woman said she was due to give birth to the couple's first child the day Henderson was buried.
"I had hoped Jesse meeting his daughter would change his perspective on life," the woman wrote. "Giving birth to my daughter was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. Instead it was the saddest."
Melody Baptiste said she has struggled to find a reason for her brother's murder. "I live my life scared for myself and my family," she wrote. "I live in fear someone else close to me will meet the same fate."
Roulette won't be eligible for parole until March 13, 2035.