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Teen killers thought Proctor's murder would be 'exhilarating'

A photo of Kimberly Proctor, an 18-year-old from Langford whose burned body was found Friday at Millstream Creek beneath the Galloping Goose Trail along the Langford-Colwood border, sits at a memorial Tuesday near the location she was discovered.

GEOFF HOWE/geoff howe The Globe and Mail

The two youths convicted of killing 18-year-old Kimberly Proctor last March exchanged text messages stating that it would be "fun" and "exhilarating" to confine, sexually assault and murder the high-school student and then set the body ablaze.

Those comments were contained in a thick binder of evidence presented at the start of a sentencing hearing for the two youths in Victoria on Monday - proceedings that will determine whether they will be sentenced as adults.

In his submissions on Monday, Crown prosecutor Peter Juk placed considerable focus on text messages and conversations in which the two teens show no concern for their victim and, in fact, seem to find the situation amusing.

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Only an adult sentence would be sufficient punishment "for the crimes to which they have pleaded guilty," Mr. Juk said.

He noted that, in the days after the killing, the two youths, who were 16 and 17 at the time, made phone calls and sent text messages to friends bragging about what they'd done.

And according to police wiretap evidence played during Monday's proceedings, even after they were arrested and charged with Ms. Proctor's murder in June, the two teens displayed no sign of remorse.

During a 30-minute recording made with a hidden microphone while the two teens were en route to their first court appearance in a sheriff's van on June 21, they complain about being unable to have a shower, read, or play video games, and gripe about noisy prisoners in other cells.

"This is like the worst bus ever," the younger teen joked at one point. "This reminds me of elementary school."

Later in the tape, the younger accused boasts to his friend that the story of Ms. Proctor's slaying was "front page all over North America," and makes light of police investigators asking if he felt any "remorse."

Prosecutor Peter Juk told the court the audiotape shows a startling lack of empathy on the part of the two accused, given the nature of the crime.

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"They seem to be having a rather lighthearted trip to the courthouse," he said.

The two youths, who pleaded guilty in October to first-degree murder, cannot be identified under Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act. However, if the court agrees to sentence them as adults, the judge can lift the publication ban on their names.

Mr. Juk described how the two teens set up a meeting with Ms. Proctor and lured her to the younger youth's home. He said the two teens then beat Ms. Proctor severely and spent several hours sexually assaulting her. They bound Ms. Proctor's legs and arms with duct tape, stuffed a sock in her mouth and covered her head with a plastic bag.

While the official cause of death was listed as asphyxiation, Mr. Juk noted, there was also evidence of strangulation.

In a text message sent to a friend in Halifax less than a week after the murder, the younger accused admitted sticking a knife into Ms. Proctor's body and cutting her internal organs. The two youths then stuffed Ms. Proctor in the deep freezer at the home. Mr. Juk said Monday it's unclear whether Ms. Proctor was still alive at that time.

The next morning, the two youths loaded the body into a duffel bag and took the bus to a secluded area beneath a bridge on the popular Galloping Goose trail, where they set fire to it.

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Mr. Juk said careful planning went into the crime, noting that the two teens shared violent sex fantasies in the months before choosing their victim. They not only planned the rape, but also the murder, sharing maps with suggested places for dumping Ms. Proctor's body and discussing what kind of fuel was best to use to burn it, he said.

"In many cases where there's a rape and murder, the murder comes as an afterthought. What is different in this case is, even before the rape occurred, they planned to kill their victim," Mr. Juk said.

Both of Ms. Proctor's killers had made romantic advances toward her in the month preceding her murder, but Ms. Proctor told them she wasn't interested, he said.

Mr. Juk said text messages Ms. Proctor sent in November, 2009, indicate that the two teens, as well as other school friends, treated Ms. Proctor poorly in the ensuing months.

Two days before the murder, the younger accused text messaged a friend in Halifax and asked if she would be proud of him if he raped and killed someone, "assuming I executed it perfectly and was never caught."

"It would depend on who and why," she replied.

"Random victim," he wrote back, "for … giggles."

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