Ottawa Citizen
Tuesday 10 November 1998

Getkate faces sentencing for killing spouse

Peter Hum
The Ottawa Citizen

A judge is expected today to sentence Lilian Getkate, the former Ottawa woman who shot her sleeping husband to death in 1995.

Last month after a two-week trial, a jury found Mrs. Getkate, 38, guilty of manslaughter. Mrs. Getkate, who now lives near her family in Maple Ridge, B.C., had faced a charge of second-degree murder after she killed her husband Maury, an RCMP industrial psychologist, with his rifle in their Falaise Road home almost three years ago.

She had hoped to be acquitted. She had asserted that she had been repeatedly physically and sexually abused by her husband, and contended that she killed him in self-defence.

Yesterday, the court heard from relatives of both Mrs. Getkate and the man she killed. Justice James Chadwick, assistant Crown attorney Julianne Parfett and defence lawyer Patrick McCann recently flew to Vancouver to hear testimony from some of Mrs. Getkate's relatives for the sentencing hearing. Videotapes of the testimony were played in court, in which aunts and cousins attest to Mrs. Getkate's good behaviour as a child and her growth as a person since the death of her husband.

Mrs. Getkate has joined a self-help group for emotionally dependent people, and enrolled in karate classes with her daughter, the court heard.

In his victim impact statement, Mr. Getkate's father, Derk, said that he was born in the Depression, raised in Holland during German occupation, that he had lost his parents and that his wife had suffered from cancer. "Nothing equals this murder," he said.

June Fuller, Mrs. Getkate's mother, testified yesterday, that Mrs. Getkate's two children, who have been living with her, miss their mother.

Mr. Getkate's parents, as well as two aunts and an uncle, also submitted videotapes for the hearing. Mr. McCann and Ms. Parfett are to give their submissions on sentencing this morning.