Man who killed his pregnant girlfriend receives his sentence

By Jill Sperling
June 24, 2016 - 4:06pm Updated: June 24, 2016 - 5:34pm

KAMLOOPS — A young man convicted of killing his pregnant girlfriend nearly four years ago was sentenced at B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops today, June 24. 

Damien Taylor was found guilty of second degree murder in October 2015, a conviction that carries a mandatory life sentence. 

However, today Taylor learned he will be eligible for parole in 12 years, a period of time considered far too short for the mother of his victim. 

WATCH: Full report by Jill Sperling

Matilda Fowler said it took her two years to forgive the man who killed her pregnant daughter, CJ Fowler. 

"Forgiving him was the most hardest thing, but I had to do it," Fowler said. 

In court today, 24-year-old Damien Taylor turned to face the mother of his 16-year-old victim as he read a tearful apology.

Fowler was shocked.

"I didn't know what he was going to say," Fowler said. "I was thinking of CJ at the same time, and I'm like, 'if he's apologizing to me he should apologize to her too, even though she's not here.'"

Fowler added that a part of her was taken away when CJ was killed. 

CJ Fowler had discovered she was pregnant shortly before her murder in December 2012. 

Her body was discovered in Guerin Creek in Kamloops, with a 40 lb concrete block on her chest. 

Taylor's defense lawyer, Don Campbell, said the defendant had been using crystal meth at the time and was unable to remember the murder. 

Campbell suggested Taylor had been trying to keep pace with the drug use of his girlfriend, and that Fowler took the lead in the tumultuous relationship.

"I was angry with that," Matilda Fowler said of Campbell's statements, "because my daughter's not the type to ... do stuff like that. Her and my son were followers, they liked to follow their friends."

Despite a mandatory life sentence parole can be granted as early as 10 years from the sentencing date.

The Crown was calling for Taylor's parole ineligibility to be in the range of 13-15 years, the defense asked for a more lenient 10-12 years.

"I was hoping around 15-25 in my head, that's what I was thinking," Fowler said. "So when I heard there was like only that much I was like, 'what? He should get more years.'

"My daughter was young, she never got to graduate, she never got to give birth to her babies that I couldn't meet."

During submissions, Justice Dev Dley expressed concerns with the Gladue report ordered to give insight into Taylor's circumstances as an Aboriginal. 

The report, Dley said, should be informative and objective. In this case Dley felt the report was written in such a way as to influence the court. For that reason he decided to place little weight on the recommendations in the report. 

Dley stated public safety and protection was paramount as he informed Taylor that he would be ineligible for parole for a period of 12 years. Taylor will also be required to submit a DNA sample to the national registry and will have a firearms ban for life.

As Dley finished reading the sentence, a weary Matilda Fowler broke down in tears. 

Community conversation tackles opiate epidemic in Kamloops