The family of a Toronto woman murdered by her husband has told a sentencing hearing they are heartbroken and filled with rage over her death.
Ana Fric said the death of her daughter, Elana Fric, has destroyed her family.
Neurosurgeon Mohammed Shamji, 43, appeared before a full courtroom for sentencing Wednesday at the Superior Court of Justice after pleading guilty in April to second-degree murder in the death of 40-year-old Fric.
Family, friends, colleagues and others affected by Shamji’s actions are delivering victim impact statements before the judge hands down the sentence.
Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no parole eligibility for 10 years.
Shamji was initially charged with first-degree murder and committing indignity to human remains.
He brutally attacked Fric, his wife of 12 years, in their family home as their three young children slept — two days after she served him with divorce papers. Court heard in April that the prominent Toronto neurosurgeon repeatedly beat Fric on the night of her murder, breaking her neck and ribs before choking her to death.
Colleagues say Fric was a vibrant, dedicated family physician at the Scarborough Hospital who juggled roles as an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and as a member of the health policy committee at the Ontario Medical Association.
She was “adored by patients” and was an avid runner who tried to be the “perfect wife and mother,” Toronto physician Dr. Allyson Koffman said.
Two of the couple’s children, now 11 and 14, were also present in court on the date of his plea. It was the first time they had seen their father since his arrest.
Fric’s body was found on Dec. 1, 2016, in a suitcase near an underpass in Vaughan, Ont., approximately 35 kilometres north of the city. Shamji had placed the suitcase in a vehicle and disposed of it in the Humber River, according to an agreed statement of facts.
Fric was found to have died from strangulation and blunt-force trauma. Court heard the couple’s marriage was volatile and included both physical and verbal abuse of Fric by her husband.
Shamji was arrested at a coffee shop in Mississauga, west of the city, the following day. He has been in custody at a Toronto-area detention centre since his arrest nearly two and a half years ago.
This story originally appeared on CBC