Calgary triple killer Dustin Duthie sentenced to life in prison

A Calgary triple murderer who admitted to slitting his girlfriend's throat and stabbing his mother and stepfather to death has been sentenced to life in prison.

Dustin Duthie, 27, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in the 2018 deaths of Taylor Toller and Shawn Boshuk, and to first-degree murder in the death of Alan Pennylegion.

Justice Glen Poelman handed down the sentence on Thursday afternoon. Duthie will serve life in prison with no chance of parole for 35 years. Duthie’s guilty plea, expression of remorse during court proceedings and his absence of an adult criminal record were considered in the decision. However, Justice Poelman also weighed in Duthie’s cold methodical approach to the killings and his attempts to cover them up.

The court gallery was packed with family and friends of the victims. Alan Pennylegion’s 25-year-old son Adam said he believed the sentence was fair.

“It does put me in a happier place knowing that the person who did such a heinous thing is behind bars for the rest of his life,” he said.

Taylor’s aunt Kim Toller said the decision doesn’t bring justice because her niece and the other two victims can’t be brought back but that they can finally move on and heal.

“This is a point where we can start to close this chapter and start to move forward,” said Toller.

 “That’s what Shawn, Alan and Taylor would’ve wanted from us.”

The bodies of Duthie's mother, Boshuck, and stepfather, Pennylegion, were found in their Hidden Valley home on July 31, 2018. The body of his 24-year-old girlfriend, Toller, was found in her Applewood condo the same day. She had been killed days earlier.

According to an agreed statement of fact, Toller was last seen alive at 4:03 a.m. on July 26, 2018 in surveillance footage outside her condo.

About an hour later, Duthie was seen leaving the condo, carrying a black satchel and pulling a 'bed in a box' behind him.

The crimes carry an automatic life sentence.

The defence argued Duthie should serve 25 years before he can apply for parole, but the Crown had asked the judge for 35 years.

Shane Parker, the senior prosecutor in the case, said Duthie’s sentence was fit.

“It was a well reasoned decision. I wouldn’t expect anything less given Justice Poelman’s reputation for wisdom and knowledge of the law.”

Taylor’s aunt said they are focusing their energy on continuing kindness, strength and desire to help others. All the qualities that embodied Taylor. As a family they’ve set up the Taylor Memorial Fund in an effort to combat family domestic and intimate partner violence. More information can be found at www.taylortollerfund.org.

With files from the Canadian Press