Robert Ashley Williams learns his fate during sentencing

Undated photo of homicide suspect Robert Ashley Williams wanted in the murder of Dereck Szaflarski (Supplied)

Robert Ashley Williams, the man convicted of second-degree murder in the 2018 death of Dereck Szaflarsk, learned his minimum sentence.

A conviction of second-degree murder comes with an automatic life sentence. However, Justice Michael McArthur ruled on Monday that Williams will be eligible for parole after a term of 10 years, the minimum allowed.

The Crown argued that term should be 17 years, but McArthur sided with defence counsel Christopher Uwagboe, who asked for the minimum allowed.

“Certainly we wanted to make sure that we could convince this court that what was appropriate was tenure and eligibility period. There was nothing aggravating about this circumstance; It's hard to say these things, obviously there was a loss of life is no less tragic,” Uwagboe says.

Williams was convicted last month of second-degree murder after the jury deliberated for three-and-a-half hours. His sentence will count the time served in jail thus far, which started nearly four years ago, after Williams turned himself into police four days after the May 2018 incident.

There is still the possibility Williams could appeal the conviction, according to his attorney.

“My client hasn't ruled out any options at this point. That's something that he's gonna have some time to consider in the intervening days that flows from here, but, you know, going through a process like this, obviously there's that cathartic moment,” Uwagboe says.

Uwagboe adds, “And there's just a moment where you need to sit with yourself and think about some things for a short period of time at least, and I think that that's what he's going to be doing.”

In his ruling, McArthur deemed that while Williams’ actions were tragic, it did not rise to the level of a harsher eligibility period.