February 22, 2020

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Woman convicted in Wolseley killing files appeal

Within hours of meeting for the first time in April 2017, Judy Kenny was found dead inside her Camden Place home and Brenda Schuff was in police custody. (Wayne Glowaki / Free Press files)

Within hours of meeting for the first time in April 2017, Judy Kenny was found dead inside her Camden Place home and Brenda Schuff was in police custody. (Wayne Glowaki / Free Press files)

A woman found guilty of killing her Wolseley neighbour just hours after meeting her is appealing her conviction and sentence.

Brenda Schuff, 46, was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of 54-year-old Judy Kenny after a trial last spring. Last month, a judge sentenced Schuff to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 15 years.

Brenda Schuff, 46, was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of 54-year-old Judy Kenny after a trial last spring. Last month, a judge sentenced Schuff to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 15 years.  (FACEBOOK)

Brenda Schuff, 46, was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of 54-year-old Judy Kenny after a trial last spring. Last month, a judge sentenced Schuff to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 15 years. (FACEBOOK)

Kenny was found dead on April 10, 2017 in the kitchen of her Camden Place home after she suffered 23 stab wounds to her face and chest. A kitchen knife was embedded in her eye socket.

In documents filed with the Manitoba Court of Appeal, Schuff argued her sentence was "harsh and excessive." No specific grounds were cited for her conviction appeal.

Schuff’s lawyers at sentencing argued she should be allowed to apply for parole after serving 10 years in prison, the minimum period allowed by law.

Jurors rejected Schuff’s claim she was acting in self-defence after finding herself in a life-or-death fight with Kenny, who defence lawyers argued was deranged by a toxic combination of alcohol and prescription medication.

Queen’s Bench Justice Rick Saull dismissed the self-defence claim as well, calling Shuff’s actions vicious, sadistic and bizarre.

"I see no genuine remorse, but regret and fear for having been caught and convicted," Saull said when sentencing Schuff last month.

Schuff testified at trial she met Kenny for the first time just hours before the fatal attack, while Kenny was searching for a lost dog. Schuff helped her and later joined her at Kenny’s home to socialize.

Schuff claimed Kenny became angry after she spent too much time in the bathroom and later blocked her exit from the house. During a subsequent struggle, Kenny brandished a knife, Schuff alleged, causing her to fear for her life.

Schuff told jurors she punched Kenny two or three times in the head before everything "flickered and got dark." She said the next thing she remembered was standing in her own kitchen with her husband.

Saull rejected Schuff’s claim she suffered a blackout, saying she provided jurors with "specific recall" of everything that preceded the attack and a short time later approached police at the scene with bloody hands, telling them: "I’m the one you are going to want to talk to about this."

The absence of defensive wounds on Kenny's body show she was either too intoxicated to ward off the attack or was already unconscious, Saull said.

Prosecutors argued there may have been a sexual component to the killing, as police found Kenny topless, with her tights on backwards.

dean.pritchard@freepress.mb.ca

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