Life sentence for Hamilton murderer Mark Champagne, who killed Natasha Thompson in 2017


Published February 21, 2023 at 6:03 pm

Content warning: this article contains descriptions of femicide and intimate partner violence that readers might find distressing. Resources for survivors of ongoing or past gendered violence are available at the end of this article.

Mark Joseph Champagne, who murdered Hamilton mother Natasha Thompson 5½ years ago, will be a senior citizen by the time he is eligible for parole.

A court in Hamilton has meted out a life sentence to Champagne, who was convicted 16 months ago of the second-degree murder of Thompson, who was his girlfriend. A second-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence, with a range of 10 to 25 years before the killer can apply for parole. Multiple Hamilton media reports conveyed that Ontario Superior Court Justice Toni Skarica sentenced Champagne to 22 years without a chance of parole, eight more than he believed he deserved. Champagne, who is in his late 40s, will not be eligible for parole until 2045.

Champagne had a track record of violence, including intimate partner violence, before he shot Thompson 10 times on the front steps of their east-end townhouse in November 2017. The eldest of Thompson’s two daughters, who was 16 years old at the time, was home when the fatal attack occurred. (At trial, a jury heard Champagne was a convicted attempted murderer, but did not hear that his victims were another girlfriend and her young son.)

A jury took fewer than three hours to convict Champagne on Oct. 20, 2021. He had pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and entered a manslaughter plea. His trial was delayed several times due to COVID-19 pandemic health protections and Champagne changing legal counsel three times before ultimately deciding to represent himself.

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