CFL News: Joshua Boden Sentenced

A former professional football player convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend is ineligible for parole for 14 years.

Joshua Boden, who once played as a wide receiver with the Canadian Football League, learned his sentence in a Vancouver courtroom on Friday.

Family and friends of the victim, Kimberly Hallgarth, sat in the front row of the courtroom gallery, sometimes crying and hugging.

Out of court, Hallgarth’s brother Jamie Errand said that while nothing will bring his sister back, they are happy with the verdict.

“I am very happy with the judge’s decision today. I think it was firm and fair,” he said. “The lack of remorse and confession of the crime really isn’t that great, but it’s not me who has to live with that, it’s someone else.”

Second-degree murder convictions come with an automatic life sentence in BC, so it was up to the judge to determine when Boden would qualify for parole. De Kroon asked for 15 years, while Boden’s legal team suggested 12 years.

Boden, 35, was found guilty of the second-degree murder of Hallgarth last year. The 33-year-old was murdered in 2009 at the Burnaby, BC home she shared with her three-year-old daughter.

During Boden’s hearing, the BC Supreme Court heard that Boden brutally beat his ex-girlfriend, strangled her, and then staged the scene in an attempt to make her death look like an accident.

Judge Arne Silverman told the court that according to the Crown, the “prolonged nature of the murder” was an aggravating factor, with Boden stomping on Hallgarth’s neck and chest and stuffing pills and socks in her mouth before strangling her.

The Crown called her murder “blunt, brutal and horrific,” with prosecutor Brendan McCabe describing her injuries as the most shocking he had seen in his career.

McCabe told the court that photos of her injuries that she claimed were the result of an assault by Boden had been sent to then-BC Lions coach Wally Buono. The prosecutor said Boden blamed Hallgarth for the end of his career.

The murder happened the year after Boden was released from the BC Lions, which he had only signed in 2007.

At the time of his release, he planned to play with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but never played a regular season game with the team. He was kicked out of the team.

Boden maintained his innocence during the trial.

When Boden walked out of the courtroom with sheriffs, he said “have a nice day.” It is not clear who the statement was directed against.

Errand said his sister had an infectious smile, loved people and treated friends like family.

“It’s a sad day, but you know again, I’m grateful to be here and we finally have a closure,” he said. “She is missed.”

With files from The Canadian Press