Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Man admits stabbing, strangling niece after she refused sex

  • Print

A Winnipeg man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for killing his niece after she refused his demands to have sex.

Mario Valdez, 39, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the 2010 slaying of 23-year-old Catherine Gastador. She was found strangled and stabbed inside her Wolseley condo.

Valdez had been secretly dating Gastador just prior to the homicide, court was told. The relationship was filled with problems and included Gastador obtaining a restraining order against Valdez, only to withdraw it days later.

On the night of the killing, Valdez had been out drinking with friends when he sent Gastador a series of sexually-explicit texts. She refused his demands, ending off her final note to him by calling him a "loser."

Valdez then went to her apartment suite – he lived in the same building, two floors down – and killed Gastador before launching a detailed plan to cover up his involvement, court was told.

Valdez sent further text messages to Gastador after she was dead, telling her he was at his other residence across the city. Crown attorney Sheila Leinburd said this was a clear attempt by Valdez to establish an alibi.

Police ultimately broke the case open by tracing Valdez’s movements through cell tower information, which showed he couldn’t have been where he claimed to be at the time of the killing.

Valdez wasn’t done, however. He also got his 14-year-old son and a nephew to lie to police about his whereabouts, then had them moved to Vancouver so they wouldn’t appear in court to testify against him at his preliminary hearing. Valdez was also overheard on intercepted jailhouse phone calls urging them to stay silent so the Crown would have to walk away from its case.

Valdez pleaded guilty Monday to a further charge of obstruction of justice and was given three years for that, in addition to 10 years for the manslaughter. Crown and defence lawyers made a joint-recommendation on sentence.

Valdez is the brother of Gastador’s adoptive mother, and his relationship with her came as a shock to family members, court was told.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.
  • STDUP ‚Äì Beautiful West End  begins it's summer of bloom with boulevard s, front yards  and even back lane gardens ,  coming alive with flowers , daisies and poppies  dress up a backyard lane on Camden St near Wolseley Ave  KEN GIGLIOTTI  / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  /  June 26 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Winnipeg control growth to deal with climate change?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google