Life for killer, rapist
Stanton Viner will be approaching his 70s before he has even a chance to walk outside prison walls.
Viner, 52, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years for the rape and murder of Aynsley Kinch.
Family members choked back tears as they remembered the 35-year-old mother of three, a “lost soul” who fell victim to drug addiction and prostitution.
It was drugs that brought Viner and Kinch together, hours before she was killed on July 13, 2007. Court heard Kinch had been celebrating her birthday at the home of a friend, a home which was a popular hangout for crack users. Viner met Kinch at the house and the two smoked crack together before leaving to buy more drugs.
Viner returned alone to the house three hours later, claiming Kinch “ripped me off for $100 and took off in a black car.”
Kinch’s body was discovered a day and a half later in a field near Murray Road and the Perimeter. She had been beaten and strangled to death. Kinch suffered nearly 50 distinct injuries, including two “significant” bruises to her skull and bite marks to her breast.
The killing was “cold hearted and cold blooded,” said Crown attorney Christina Kopynsky. “(Viner) showed nothing but disregard for her. There is no question this was a vicious and brutal attack.”
Viner has a history of violence that spans his entire adult life, including a conviction for severely beating two people and another for sexual assault.
“Rehabilitation is not a realistic possibility,” Kopynsky said.
Police arrested Viner and interrogated him for 10 hours. Court heard Viner initially denied knowing Kinch, later claimed he saw someone else kill her, before finally admitting he killed her himself.
“She was taken from us in a cruel way,” Kinch’s mother Diana Fitch told court. “I wonder what it was like for her as she lay dying on her last night. Did she cry out as she was being hurt? Oh, she must have.”
Fitch said police and medical examiners discouraged her from identifying her daughter’s battered body.
“They told us to try and remember her as she was before.”
Defence lawyer Jeff Gindin said Viner has led a troubled life marked by drug addiction and frequent thoughts of suicide.
“There are obviously some deep-seated psychological issues here,” Gindin said.
Justice Colleen Suche said Kinch’s murder has “broken (her family’s) hearts and shattered their lives.”
Slain mom`s killer gets 17 years
A career criminal has been sentenced to life in prison without a chance at parole for 17 years for the murder of a Winnipeg sex-trade worker and mother of three.
Stanton Viner, 52, will be behind bars until he's at least in his late 60s for strangling Aynsley Aurora Kinch, 35, and leaving her body in a field on the outskirts of the city in July 2007.
Viner pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in April.
While a conviction on the charge carries a mandatory life sentence without parole for 10 years, Viner agreed to having his parole eligibility hiked to a minimum of 17 years after making a plea deal with the Crown.
'Only God will truly hold him accountable.'—Relative of Aynsley KinchJustice Colleen Suche approved the sentence at an emotionally charged sentencing hearing Thursday morning. Many members of Kinch's family were present for the hearing.
Suche called Kinch's murder a "brutal and senseless killing of a vulnerable woman" and cautioned Viner that the parole board may not look kindly on his case.
"Make no mistake Mr. Viner," Suche said, "The prisons of this country have many persons inside their walls that have never been granted parole."
She called Viner's adult life "steeped in violence" based not only on the manner by which Kinch was killed, but also on hearing of his 20 prior criminal convictions. Suche called Viner "dangerous to others."
'I'll get it from her in my own way'According to the facts of the case read in court by Crown attorney Kusham Sharma, on July 13, 2007, Kinch turned up appearing "slightly drunk" at a friend's home in the North End of Winnipeg. Kinch was known to sometimes work in the sex trade.
The home at Pritchard Avenue and Charles Street was known as a place to purchase crack cocaine.
The friend introduced Kinch to Viner later that day and the two left together. She was never seen alive again.
However, Viner returned to the home about three hours after the two left and complained that Kinch had stolen $100 from him.
When the friend offered to help him find her and get the money back, Viner replied, "Don't worry about it. I'll get it from her in my own way."
More than a day later, a woman walking her dog on a path near Murray Avenue and McPhillips Street near Winnipeg's northwest outskirts found a dead woman's body. She was naked from the waist down.
Police were called and identified her as Kinch, who had been reported missing.
She was clutching some fresh grass in her hand. Police determined that she had died at the scene because it matched the grass in the area.
An autopsy showed she had been strangled and her breast had been bitten. A pathologist concluded that Kinch and her attacker had struggled and she also suffered at least two blows to her head.
The North End homeowner recognized Kinch from a picture she saw on TV and called police to tell them what she knew.
'Oh God, what did I do, what did I do?'—Stanton VinerViner was immediately considered a suspect and police began to assemble a case against him.
Police obtained a warrant to search a van he often borrowed from his sister and found a clump of hair that matched Kinch's DNA.
Viner was arrested at a Manitoba jail where he was being held on another charge two months after Kinch's body was found.
In a marathon 10-hour long interview with homicide investigators Mark Mirwaldt and Dave Bessason, Viner initially denied knowing Kinch or having anything to do with her death.
About halfway through the videotaped interview — which the Crown described as "expertly" conducted, Mirwaldt leaves the room and asks Viner if he wants anything.
"A rope," Viner said.
While the officers are out of the room, the cameras kept rolling. Viner is seen talking to himself.
"I'm dead," he said. "Oh God, what did I do, what did I do?"
Brother's murder unsolvedAlthough his defence lawyer, Jeff Gindin, fought to keep the video statement from being entered as evidence in Viner's trial, Suche allowed it to be used.
Not long after, Viner entered his guilty plea.
Gindin told Suche that Viner, originally from Nova Scotia, has had a lifelong struggle with substance abuse which was exacerbated by being shunned by his father and the still-unsolved homicide of his younger brother.
In a letter of support filed on his behalf by Viner's mother, she said she wished her son had stayed in drug treatment programs offered to him over the years.
"All the wishes in the world won't change one darn thing," the woman conceded.
In a creaky voice, the burly, imposing Viner stood to apologize to Kinch's family during the hearing. The Crown had placed an oversized picture of her on a stand that faced Viner from across the courtroom.
"I'd just like to tell the family of Aynsley I'm very sorry," he said. "Hopefully some day you'll forgive me. I've had a long time to think — I had a lot I wanted to say.
"But now all I can say is I'm sorry."
Apology rings hollowWhile giving her decision, Suche said Kinch's family has been left in "utter bewilderment" by the murder.
"Her death has broken their hearts and shattered their lives."
After the hearing, Kinch's father, John Fitch, said he thought hearing Viner's apology and history was "crap" and criticized that the government will have to pay to keep him in prison for so long.
"And that's why the death penalty should be imposed," he said.
Kinch's niece said in a victim impact statement read in court that ultimately, there would be no satisfaction for her in whatever sentence the court imposed on Viner.
"Only God will truly hold him accountable," she wrote.
Man gets life for brutal, senseless killing
Her family describes her as a "lost soul," a once vibrant young woman who fought a losing battle against addiction and got swept up in the city's sex and drug subculture.
On Thursday, they struggled to face the man who took advantage of their daughter's vulnerability and brutally end her life.
Stanton Viner, 52, was sentenced to life in prison after admitting to the July 2007 slaying of Aynsley Kinch. The 35-year-old mother of three was found half-naked in a field in northwest Winnipeg after going missing from her inner-city home on her birthday 48 hours earlier. She had been raped and strangled.
Viner pleaded guilty earlier this spring to second-degree murder. He must wait 17 years to apply for parole under a joint recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers to raise eligibility from the mandatory minimum of 10 years.
"This was a brutal and senseless killing of a very vulnerable and defenceless woman," Queen's Bench Justice Colleen Suche said.
Kinch's family members crowded the Winnipeg courtroom, where a large picture of the slain woman was prominently displayed. Her 17-year-old son, Jesse, wore a whiteT-shirt with a picture of his mother.
"She was taken from us in a very cruel way. I wonder what it was like for her as she lay dying on that last night," Kinch's mother, Diana Fitch, said while reading a victim impact statement in court.
Fitch described the family's anguish in watching Kinch descend into a dangerous world in the months before her death.
"Aynsley became one of the world's lost souls. The world took hold of my girl and I couldn't control it," she said.
Outside court, family members said prison isn't sufficient punishment for Viner. The career criminal has spent much of the past 30 years behind bars for 20 convictions, many of them for violent acts.
"Now the government is going to have t
o pay $100,000 a year for this (expletive) to sit in prison. Isn't that a crime?" said John Fitch, Aynsley's father.
"This is why they should bring back the death penalty," Diana Fitch added.
Viner made brief comments to the family in court, asking for their forgiveness. His lawyer said Viner had a deeply troubled life that led him down a troubled path.
"His own life has been steeped in violence. First as a witness, then a recipient, then a perpetrator," Suche said. She warned Viner that parole eligibility just means "permission to ask" and does not guarantee he will be released from prison.
Police arrested Viner just days after the killing, due largely to DNA analysis that matched a pubic hair found at the crime scene to him. He was a stranger to Kinch until he met her at a known drug house that he frequented, where Kinch was getting high that day.
"What led her to be in his company... is a tragedy in and of itself," said Suche. Viner initially denied any responsibility, but later confessed to the killing during a 10-hour police interview.
Until the arrest, many believed Kinch and several other city sex-trade workers were killed by the same person. Kinch's body was found in the same area where the body of a young woman was later found. There are still at least 18 unsolved slayings of Manitoba sex-trade workers since 1983. A provincial task force is examining all of the cold cases.
Nice biased headline on the latest Free Press article! "Brutal, senseless killing" is clearly the author`s opinion, not a fact, but by putting those words in the headline, implies that it is a fact and gives readers with a negative first impression. It is over-sensationalizing this murder. All of the articles also do not give enough details about the mitigating factors of the accused and his background. As usual, this Free Press story focuses too much time and space on the victim of the crime and a proportionate amount on the accused and his background life and mitigating factors. The Judge did say that the murder was brutal and senseless, but then it should be in quotations.
Here were some tweets made by Mike McIntyre (the author of the story):
A perfect example of why rehabilitation is no magic wand, ONLY works if the criminal is willing and prepared to work at it, make change.
The man sentenced for brutal killing today has 20 prior convictions spanning 30-plus years. He will have hard time ever getting parole.
Crown says he is "cold hearted, cold blooded." Has been given every opportunity to turn life around over the years, always failed.
Drug treatment, sex offender treatment, numerous counselling programs, probation - absolutely nothing worked, says Crown.
I agree, rehabilitation is not a "magic wand", but I am left wondering, did this man attend these programs while in a prison or in the community. Because community programs are much more effective, as the prison subculture and negative environment counteracts prison programming. Even if he has failed at programs, is that reason to give up on him! Maybe he needs more assistance, more guidelines, better programs, etc. And, you cannot say "nothing worked." Maybe he needs more intensive treatment for his issues. But saying nothing worked, is implying that you have examined the effectiveness of those programs on this man`s life, and I highly doubt you have done that.
I never agree with mandatory minimum sentences of life in prison as they are harsh and leave judges with no discretion to consider the mitigating circumstances of this offender. MMS treat all crimes as though they are equal, when really, all offenders and their crimes are different and unique. Longer prison sentences have proven to increase the rates of re-offending and make an offender less likely to successfully reintegrate into society upon release, as they become institutionalized, dependent on others, are released with little assistance, are not properly rehabilitated due to underfunded programs and long waiting lists, are released with no housing or employment, have been negatively influenced by the prison environment, gangs, drugs, other inmates, have often become more hardened criminals as prisons are the schools of crime, lack problem solving, communication, stress management, risk management and life skills.
I would have sentenced this man to 3-4 years in a minimum security prison and required that he participate in substance abuse programming (even though prison programs are not very effective, combined with the prison subculture and negative environment), anger management, violence prevention, skills, and counseling for his suicidal thoughts and to help uncover what led to his crimes of sexual assault, sex offender programming, and substance abuse treatment. This man appears to have mental health issues and prison for those people can worsen their conditions, especially lengthy sentences. This man is somewhat of a risk to public safety due to his random attacks, but should not be imprisoned for a long time. Prison can also have more negative effects on elder inmates, such as this man. They are often targets for violence as they are more vulnerable. This is why he should be in prison for the least amount of time possible.
I cannot believe the woman who is advocating for the death penalty! Nobody deserves to die and all human life is valuable, regardless of the crime committed. The government killing murderers, does not demonstrate to society that murder is wrong. Plus, we as a society should not be willing to take the risk of executing an innocent person. Remember Steven Truscott! Capital punishment is barbaric, inhumane, uncivilized and cruel punishment which violates human rights and has no place in civilized societies, such as Canada. Shame on everyone who advocates for the reinstatement of capital punishment! Capital punishment does not deter, prevent or reduce crime. Just look at the United States!
I believe that legalizing and regulating prostitution would be a very good way in reducing things like this from happening again. Currently prostitutes are backed into street corners and have to accept any client they can get. They can so easily get stolen from, raped, or far too often killed. They cannot enforce condom use, and therefore STIs spread rapidly.
If there were legalized and secure brothels, there would be no violence, background checks could be done on the clients, and there would be regular testing and mandatory condom use. For those who have drug problems and are resorting to prostitution for that reason only, then there has to be more resources to get them out of it. There are some resources now, but not nearly enough.
I suggest you all look into New Zealand's laws regarding prostitution. They recently legalized it. Also, there are certain counties in Nevada where brothels are legal. Probably the most well-known brothel is the Bunny Ranch. There are no murders happening inside those walls.
Of course, you would always have people going outside of the system, but the point is to make it as safe as possible for those who choose to do it. For those who want out, there needs to be resources to help them.
If you like the Chinese justice system so much, why dont you move to China! Here in Canada, we would rather be civilized and humane. But if retribution, barbaric punishments and inhumane acts, are what you strive for... you should definitely move to China! Capital punishment is barbaric, inhumane and uncivilized, regardless of the crime committed. Apparently you place little value on the human life.. how disturbing!