Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for July 29, 2013

Convicted killer sentenced for contempt of court

A Yukon Supreme Court judge says he hopes his sentence of Christina Asp for contempt of court will be considered if the convicted killer ever applies for parole.

By Ashley Joannou on July 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm

photo

Photo by Whitehorse Star

Pictured Above: CHRISTINA ASP

A Yukon Supreme Court judge says he hopes his sentence of Christina Asp for contempt of court will be considered if the convicted killer ever applies for parole.

On Friday, Justice Scott Brooker sentenced Asp, who now goes by Christina Carlick, to two years in prison for refusing to testify at her former boyfriend’s murder trial earlier this year.

Asp had already been convicted of second-degree murder for killing 63-year-old Gordon Seybold in 2008 when she took the stand at the trial of ex-boyfriend Norman LaRue.

She refused to testify, without providing any explanation.

Brooker ordered her to testify, and when she didn’t, he cited her for contempt.

LaRue was eventually convicted of first-degree murder in Seybold’s death.

In court Friday, the judge acknowledged Asp is already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 15 years for Seybold’s murder.

Brooker said he doesn’t have the authority to adjust the original sentence imposed by another judge. He also cannnot make this punishment consecutive to what is already a life sentence.

But he urged the National Parole Board to take this sentence into consideration when Asp eventually is able to apply for parole.

A witness’ refusal to testify “strikes at the very heart of our justice system,” Brooker said.

To not take into account Asp’s actions when it comes time for parole consideration, would send a message that people can flout the justice system without consequences, he said.

Asp’s lawyer, Lynn MacDiarmid, explained that her client, who gave testimony in her own trial, did not feel emotionally able to testify for a second time.

MacDiarmid insisted Asp’s decision had nothing to do with LaRue, for whom she has no romantic feelings left.

The lawyer said Asp didn’t think her testimony would have an effect on LaRue’s trial.

He is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

Lawyers spent a week during the LaRue trial trying to figure out what to do after Asp refused to testify.

In the end, her testimony from her original trial and a number of secretly recorded conversations with undercover police officers, were played for the jury.

Since she would not testify, LaRue’s lawyer was not able to cross-examine Asp about what she said.

Brooker called Asp’s excuse “not very persuasive.”

There’s no way to read behind the jury’s decision to convict LaRue and know what effect, if any, Asp’s testimony would have had, he said.

He pointed out the LaRue case is being appealed.

The two-year sentence matches prosecutor David McWhinnie’s suggestion.

Asp’s lawyer was seeking 15 to 18 months’ incarceration.

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