Woman sentenced to 5 years for fatal stabbing of Edmonton mother

Family and friends of Natasha Rich say they are disappointed following a sentencing for the woman who pleaded guilty to killing the Edmonton mother of four. (Paige Parsons/CBC – image credit)

The daughter of an Edmonton woman fatally stabbed in 2022 says she’s disappointed that the woman who killed her mother has less than two years left in her jail sentence.

Jada McKenzie Andrew, 22, was handed a five-year sentence Thursday for her manslaughter conviction in the 2022 death of 47-year-old Natasha Rich.

With credit for time served while in custody ahead of her sentencing, she has about one year and nine months left in her sentence.

Court of King’s Bench Justice John Henderson also ordered Andrew to serve a two-year probation term upon her release from jail.

“She definitely deserved better than this. It’s not fair that Jada might be able to be back with her daughter in two years … and we’re never going to see our mom again,” Natasha Rich’s daughter Destiny Rich said, speaking outside the courthouse Thursday.

Fight over $200

According to an agreed statement of facts filed by Crown prosecutor Janet Valel, Natasha Rich was in a common law relationship with Andrew’s father at the time of her death.

On the evening of Jan. 25, 2022, Andrew, her friend and her father were all in her Edmonton apartment, playing cards and drinking alcohol. The father invited Natasha Rich over, and when she arrived Andrew and the friend confronted her about $200 that Andrew had given her to buy supplies for Andrew’s infant daughter.

Court heard that the purchases were never delivered, nor was the money returned.

As the women fought, the altercation moved to the hallway and turned physical. At some point, Andrew went back inside her unit and grabbed a large kitchen knife.

She returned to the hallway and stabbed Natasha Rich in the head.

Andrew then immediately called 911. Natasha Rich was taken to hospital where she underwent surgery but died of her injuries eight days later.

The day after the stabbing, Andrew admitted what she’d done to police and was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

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The charge was later upgraded to second-degree murder, and Andrew entered a guilty plea to manslaughter in December 2023.

‘No end to missing my sister’

Several victim impact statements were read out in court by Destiny Rich, her family members and her mother’s best friend.

Many of the 47-year-old’s loved ones spoke directly to Andrew, describing the magnitude of their loss and anger, and about how they continue to struggle with the impacts of grief on their lives.

“It’s unfair that I have to sum up what it means to have lost my sister by your hand,” Nataha’s younger sister Kelly Jackson-Amaro told Andrew.

“There’s no end to missing my sister.”

Natasha Rich, 47, died in hospital after she was stabbed. Her daughter said this photo was taken when Rich was a real estate agent.

Natasha Rich, 47, died in hospital after she was stabbed. Her daughter said this photo was taken when Rich was a real estate agent.

Natasha Rich, 47, died in hospital after she was stabbed in 2022. (Destiny Rich/Gofundme)

Court also heard that Natasha Rich, who grew up in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, was a star track athlete and her high school’s first Black valedictorian.

Destiny Rich was the oldest of her four children, and described her mother as “charismatic, loud and loving” during her statement in court.

Traumatic background

Valel argued that Andrew should receive a seven- to eight-year sentence, saying it is aggravating that she brought a weapon into a fight that was already two-on-one when the victim was unarmed.

Andrew’s defence lawyer Andrea Urquhart urged the judge to consider a sentence of three-and-a-half years plus two years probation, citing her call to 911, her admission of guilt, that she was only 20 years old at the time of the offence, and a number of background factors.

According to a Gladue report filed with the court, Andrew’s childhood and adulthood were marked by trauma, chaos, instability and that she was the victim of a significant amount of abuse.

Gladue reports help inform sentencing decisions by describing how background factors may have contributed to an Indigenous person ending up in the criminal justice system.

Andrew wrote a letter apologizing to Rich’s family, which Urquhart read out loud in court.

As he sentenced Andrew, Henderson said that while Andrew’s level of moral blameworthiness for the actual offence was quite high, her background factors decreased her culpability because it made her into the kind of person who would inevitably wind up before the courts.

“I conclude that her offending was completely predictable,” he said.

Speaking outside the courthouse after the sentencing, Natasha Rich’s eldest daughter and sisters said the weight given to Andrew’s background during the sentencing doesn’t sit well with them, and that they are frustrated with the justice system overall.

Originally Appeared Here

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