Hamilton man convicted of 2nd-degree murder

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Published October 20, 2021 at 5:46 pm

Content warning: this article contains descriptions of femicide and intimate partner violence.

Nearly four years after Hamilton mother Natasha Thompson was shot dead, her abusive partner has received a life sentence for second-degree murder.

Mark Joseph Champagne, 45, was convicted by a jury after about three hours of deliberation on Wednesday (Oct. 20), per multiple reports in the Hamilton media. The Crown rejected his manslaughter plea after he entered a not-guilty plea on the murder charge.

On Nov. 6, 2017, Thompson was shot 10 times, including three times from less than one metre away, outside of a townhouse dwelling in east-end Hamilton. The killing left her two daughters without a mother.

The eldest daughter, the now 20-year-old Hana Thompson, was home at the time. She testified that she heard her mother and Champagne arguing, and that her mother had told Champagne that she was going to leave him and obtain an abortion.

Champagne dismissed as many as three court-appointed lawyers during the criminal proceedings before deciding to represent himself. He claimed the killing was drug-related and that a drug dealer visited the house, but witnesses told the court they saw a man who looked like Chamapagne shoot Thompson.

The changes in counsel and the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the trial proceedings.

Second-degree murder carries a life sentence, and the only variant in sentencing is how many years it will be until Champagne could be eligible for parole. The jury heard during the trial that he had a prior conviction for attempted murder.

It was not told that it also involved intimate partner violence. In 1998, he stabbed a girlfriend and also slashed her son with a knife.

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