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Teen Gets Life in Prison for Murder

By Gloria Cowdery     Jul 28, 2009 in Crime
Melissa Todorovic, 17, received an adult sentence today in a Toronto court, to life in prison for the murder of 14-year-old Stefanie Rengel. Todorovic was convicted earlier this year for her part in the slaying.
13-year-old Rengel was murdered in January of 2008, when Todorovic’s boyfriend, known only as D.B., lured her from her home on New Year’s Day. He then stabbed her six times and left in the snowbank to die.
Todorovic was said to have used sexual blackmail via the internet, instant messages and text messages, to pressure her boyfriend into murdering Rengel who she thought was a rival.
Crown prosecutor Robin Flumerfelt, said that Todorovic was motivated by "vile and obsessive jealousy," and cited that her months of text messages and MSN chat logs were used to drive her boyfriend to killing the victim.
Defence lawyer Marshall Sack argued that a lesser charge of a youth sentence was more fitting to his client since she didn’t actually stab Rengel. However, Justice Ian Nordheimer disagreed, commenting that, "the puppetmaster is not less blameworthy than the puppet."
"(She) is a disturbed individual who needs all the help that our system has to offer," said Ian Rengel, brother of the victim.
Pre-sentencing psychiatric reports revealed that Todorovic had many factors that suggest "frightening" character flaws. The report also stated that many individual’s personalities are not fully developed until they are in their 20’s, which is when Todorovic could be freed, either under a youth sentence or an adult sentence.
Defence lawyer Marshall Sack told reporters that he would advise the family to appeal the adult sentence.
Todorovic’s boyfriend, also plead guilty to first degree murder earlier this year for the slaying of Rengel, and is still awaiting formal sentencing. The Crown will also be seeking an adult sentence for his case also.
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