After 14 years on the run a wife murderer from Brampton gets life in prison

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Published March 21, 2023 at 11:06 am

A Brampton man has been handed a life sentence for murdering his wife and high school sweetheart while their young sons were in the next room.

Henry Morales of Brampton was sentenced last week to life in prison for the murder of his wife Malena back in July 2006. The 47-year-old was found guilty of second-degree murder for killing his wife, but not before leading investigators on an international chase for over a decade.

According to court documents, Henry and Malena Morales met as high school students and married after graduation in 1993 and had two sons before opening a salon and spa business together in 2004. But the business failed, leading to problems in the marriage and “episodes of violence,” including one incident where Morales grabbed his wife and punched “the wall beside her head.”

Malena Morales was found dead in her home on July 13, 2006. Two days earlier, the couple got into an argument and Henry “inflicted gratuitous violence on his wife before using his hands to strangle her to death” as she called out to one of the couple’s young sons in the next room for help.

“He chose to instruct his son not to come in and that everything was OK,” Superior Court Justice Jennifer Woollcombe said of Henry in her sentencing, adding that the couple’s son “obeyed the father whom he loved and trusted, having no idea what had just happened in that room.”

Henry then told his boys that their mother was just sleeping, taking them out for mini-golf and pizza before leaving his kids with a family member and going on the run for over a decade.

The court heard how Morales fled to Mexico after the killing and managed to stay undetected by police for almost 14 years while working as an English teacher at a primary school. He even went on to remarry and start a new family who knew nothing of his violent past.

Morales was arrested in Mexico in February 2020 and returned to Canada to face trial where he was found guilty of the second-degree murder of his wife Malena and given a life sentence with no eligibility of parole for 15 years.

Woollcombe said it appeared that Morales was a law-abiding citizen between the murder and his arrest in 2020, but said that was not a mitigating factor in the sentence as it was ” in Mr. Morales’ self-interest to comply with the law in Mexico” while wanted for murder.

The court heard letters supporting Morales “that suggest he was a good teacher and kind and caring person while he was teaching in Mexico,” which Woolcombe said “is some positive evidence supporting his capacity for social reintegration.”

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