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Manslaughter sentence for Edmonton elder killer delayed

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A woman who pleaded guilty to beating an Edmonton elder to death will learn her sentence in the coming weeks after she fired her lawyer and tried to rehire him minutes later.

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Cynthia Hamelin, 51, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last February after admitting to entering a McCauley-area seniors’ residence in July 2018, robbing Giuseppina Micieli, 83, before giving her kicking, punching and stomping on it. Micieli died of her injuries in hospital several weeks later.

Hamelin was due to be sentenced at Albert Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton on Tuesday morning.

But minutes before the start of the hearing, Peter Royal – his lawyer since the date of his arrest – said Hamelin had contacted his office on Monday evening, indicating his intention to fire him and seek a new lawyer.

Hamelin, who is in police custody and appeared via CCTV, confirmed his intentions and gave the name of his new lawyer, Anita Myers, to Royal and the court.

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But she backtracked minutes later after the start of the proceedings when Judge Sterling Sanderman asked her to confirm her intention to fire Royal and seek further representation.

“I changed my mind. My thinking was not fair,” she said, citing “a whole list” of medical issues.

“I take that away trying to fire him. I want to keep it as advice.

She also told the court she had “no idea” who Anita Myers was.

Royal said the flip-flip left him in an untenable position.

“Just five minutes ago…she indicated she wanted to fire me and hire Mrs. Myers. My hands are really tied here. I cannot represent her.

Sanderman was unwilling to sue without Hamelin having an attorney.

“Because of the position taken by Ms. Hamelin…it would be foolhardy to proceed today.

The delay upset some in the gallery, including members of Micieli’s family, prompting Sanderman to sympathize but also to warn some to “keep your mouth shut.”

“I had hoped to settle this matter today and end this matter today,” he said.

Sanderman is expected to retire at the end of May. Lawyers will meet again to set a new sentencing date before the end of next month.