Edmonton killer’s daughter calls father a monster

(CBC NEWS)The daughter of an Edmonton man who killed and dismembered his wife before taking the remains to police headquarters and confessing says her father is a monster.

In her victim impact statement Thursday, Elen Negasi referred to her father, Tesfai Negasi, as "the monster that is my father."

The death of her mother "wounded my spirit," Negasi told the Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench courtroom. "She was the parent who was present in my life."

Elen, 29, said she was "horrified by the brutality [my mother] endured during her death."


The daughter of Tesfai Negasi described her father as a monster in court. (Edmonton Police Service

The body was so badly damaged the medical examiner could not pinpoint a cause of death.

Tesfai Negasi, a 54-year-old father of four, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Selamawit, 46, on July 5, 2009.

Negasi was also convicted of offering an indignity to a dead body.

Victim impact from child            

Couple had unhappy marriage

On the night he killed his wife, Negasi drove to police headquarters, confessed to officers and directed them to body parts wrapped in plastic bags in the trunk of his car.

A number of witnesses told the jury that the couple had a dysfunctional, unhappy relationship. Elen Nagasi testified her mother had an appointment with a divorce lawyer at the time she was killed.

On Thursday, the Crown recommended Negasi serve 20 years in jail before being eligible for parole.

His lawyer asked for eligibility to be set at 12 years.

A jury has already recommended Negasi spend at least 20 years in jail.

Negasi will be sentenced on Sept. 7.   


Edmonton Sun

Tears for mom slain, dismembered

EDMONTON – Tears of loss and anger flowed Thursday as victim impact statements were read at the sentencing of an Edmonton man for killing his wife and dismembering her body.

Tesfai Negasi, 54, was convicted by a jury on June 6 of second-degree murder and offering an indignity to a body for the July 5, 2009, dismemberment-slaying of his wife of 30 years, Selamawit Negasi, 46.

Elen Negasi, one of the couple’s four daughters, broke into heart-wrenching sobs – echoed by the weeping of other family members – as she spoke of missing her mother’s “amazing hugs” and the sound of her “sweet” voice.

The articulate young woman, who wore a t-shirt with a picture of her mother on it, also talked about the “senseless” and “horrendous” nightmare of her mother being “robbed of her life” and how devastated the sisters are.

“I am haunted by persistent thoughts of how she died and horrified by the brutality she endured during her last moments on earth,” she said.“I also experience nightmares where I am confronted with the monster that is my father.”

The grieving daughter called her slain mom the “backbone” of their family and paid tributes to her strength, determination, hard work and sacrifice as a working mother who essentially raised the girls on her own.

She also recalled her mother toiling as a day care worker, a cook and a bus driver after first emigrating to Canada from Africa and how she became fluent in English, completed her high school diploma and then returned to school to successfully train as a licenced practical nurse.

The jury heard the Crown theory was that Negasi killed his wife and then cut up her body with the intention of hiding the remains, but was foiled by some of their four daughters finding blood on their mother’s bed.

The two daughters had returned home on the evening of July 5, 2009, and noticed the house smelled like bleach, the washer was going and their mom’s van was in the driveway despite her supposed to be working as a nursing assistant at a retirement home.

After being confronted, Negasi told the daughters to call police and he later drove to downtown police headquarters with his wife’s dismembered remains in the trunk of his car and confessed to officers that he had killed her.

The jury has heard the victim was cut up into 10 parts and wrapped in various items such as plastic and bed sheets before being placed inside garbage bags.

Police also found knives, a saw, a broken candle, a broken vase, bloody towels and clothing inside the car.

A cause of death could not be determined, however the medical examiner testified the victim’s head was crushed and said it is possible she was drowned, smothered or had her neck compressed.

Court has heard the couple lived in a home at 7328 164 Ave., and were from the small country of Eritrea, near Ethiopia, and had moved to Canada in the early 1980s.

Court also heard Selamawit had returned to their homeland during the months of January and February 2009 and was planning to seek a divorce upon her return.

Crown prosecutor Tania Holland called the slaying a “horrific act” and the “ultimate form of domestic abuse.”

She argued the “cruel and cowardly” killing and dismemberment were so aggravating that Negasi should not be eligible for parole until serving a minimum of 20 years of his automatic sentence of life in prison. “No one will ever know the terror and sense of betrayal she felt before she died,” said Holland.

Negasi’s lawyer is slated to argue his position Thursday afternoon and it is not yet known when the judge will issue her sentencing decision.