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Donna McLeod, Cindy Gladue's mother, watches a rally for her daughter along with supporters outside the courthouse in Edmonton on Feb. 18, 2021.

JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

An Ontario truck driver held his face and cried as he apologized to his family and the family of a woman he killed in an Edmonton hotel room.

Bradley Barton told his sentencing hearing Wednesday that he takes full responsibility for causing the death of Cindy Gladue in 2011.

The 36-year-old Métis and Cree woman bled to death in the bathtub in Mr. Barton’s room at the Yellowhead Inn.

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A jury convicted Mr. Barton earlier this year of manslaughter.

Mr. Barton, 53, of Mississauga, told the court that he never meant to hurt Ms. Gladue after he arranged to pay her for sex. And he said he will do his best to show how he is a better man now.

“A lot of terrible things have been said about me in this case and the last 10 years,” Mr. Barton told a judge.

“You may think I’m a terrible person. But I want you and everyone in the public to know that I’ve never meant to hurt this lady who I called Cindy back then.

“I want to apologize to Cindy and her family. Also, I want to apologize to my wife and family for causing them so much shame and stress [and] not being able to support them the way I used to,” Mr. Barton said through tears.

Justice Stephen Hillier said he will give his sentencing decision July 27.

Crown prosecutors, who recommended Mr. Barton be sentenced to between 18 and 20 years in prison, have argued that while Ms. Gladue was passed out, Mr. Barton performed a sexual act that caused a severe wound to her vagina.

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They said he dumped her in the tub and left her to die.

Mr. Barton’s lawyer has suggested a sentence of no more than nine years, saying the Crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Barton intended to kill Ms. Gladue.

Mr. Barton testified during the trial that he was shocked when he woke in the morning to find Ms. Gladue dead and covered in blood in the tub.

It was the second trial for Mr. Barton. A jury found him not guilty in 2015 of first-degree murder, which sparked rallies and calls for justice for Indigenous women.

There was outrage when Ms. Gladue’s preserved vaginal tissue was presented in court during the first trial. She was also repeatedly referred to as a “native” and a “prostitute.” The Alberta Court of Appeal and later the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a new trial.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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