Migrant worker sentenced for killing man in Wilmot Township

Alex Lopez-Noriega was sentenced to more than eight years in prison on Tuesday, for the killing of a fellow migrant worker at a Wilmot Township farm in 2020.

An agreed statement of facts said Lopez-Noriega and his co-worker Luis Gabriel Cahuec Morán were drinking together on July 28, 2020, when a fight broke out. Surveillance video from the farm shows Lopez-Noriega following Cahuec Morán into a cornfield around 8:54 p.m. The video does not show anyone leaving the cornfield where Cahuec Morán was found dead early the next morning.

Last November, Lopez-Noriega pleaded guilty to manslaughter. On Tuesday, Justice Karey Katzsch handed Lopez-Noriega an eight-and-a-half-year sentence, which, when factoring in credit for time served, means he’ll spend six more years behind bars.

The crown was seeking a 10-year sentence, while the defence asked for six years.

"I would've liked a slightly lower sentence, but the judge effectively split the difference and came down the middle," said defence attorney Liam O'Connor, who claimed his client has been extremely remorseful since the incident. "He has always wanted to repay society and repay his debt, and I think this is a just result at the end."

O'Connor said the systemic challenges that migrant workers face should have been factored into the decision.

"Look, we as Canadians can't understand what it's like to come from another country and try to live here and have to send money back, it's a great hardship," O'Connor said. "At the end of the day, a terrible tragedy for both parties. One man will never go home to his children and one man will be away from his children for years."