Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'I am dead like Tiruye'

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THE grieving family of murder victim Tiruye Yizengaw described her as a symbol of strength whose promising young life was snuffed out by a "heartless and vicious murderer".

Crown attorney Rekha Malivaya read several victim impact statements in court Monday that pulled no punches about family members' feelings towards Mehari Wodaje.

"The blood of the innocent victim calls out for justice," her sisters and mother wrote.

The man whose 2001 marriage to Yizengaw apparently motivated a distraught Wodaje to kill her says he longs for the life they will never have.

"We had a promise to live together forever," he wrote.

He will never be able to remarry or father children with another woman based on a religious promise the couple made to each other, court was told.

"I am dead like Tiruye," the widower wrote in his statement.

Wodaje spoke briefly in court, saying every day is filled with regret.

"No matter what I say, it isn't going to heal the pain," he told Yizengaw's family and friends.

"She was a great person. If I could bring her back, I'd be happy to give my own life right now."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 6, 2007 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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