Nelson DeJesus stalked and murdered Yorkville real-estate agent Lisa Posluns, a jury ruled yesterday in a verdict hailed by investigators who say he is a predator that all women should fear.
After deliberating for one day, the jury found Mr. DeJesus, 36, guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of the businesswoman on Nov. 2, 2002.
The body of Ms. Posluns, 38, was found in her Toronto office building where Mr. DeJesus had worked as a janitor. She was stabbed seven times and her throat was slit.
Mr. DeJesus, who appeared unmoved after the verdict, had swaggered into the courtroom, smiled at his lawyer and leisurely crossed his legs in the witness box while his sentence was read.
The judge handed him the mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. His DNA will be added to Canada's sex-offender registry.
The conviction is a "hollow victory" for the family, Ms. Posluns's sister, Helen, said. She and other relatives attended the three-month trial and heard details of how the man they call a monster stalked, raped and stabbed the blond woman in an isolated stairwell in her building.
What made it worse, Ms. Posluns said, was that evidence of Mr. DeJesus's violent past was kept from the jury of three women and nine men because Mr. Justice Eugene Ewaschuk ruled that it was too prejudicial.
Mr. DeJesus, who has a lengthy criminal record, served two years for handcuffing and raping a 17-year-old female in 1995. When he was arrested in March of 2003 in connection with the slaying of Ms. Posluns, he was carrying the sinister tools he would need to commit rape and murder again.
"Why was this criminal anywhere near Lisa?" Ms. Posluns asked after the verdict. "If our system had kept him in jail, Lisa would be here today."
Four months after Ms. Posluns's death, Mr. DeJesus was arrested near his Toronto home. As he fled police on foot, he discarded what investigators later dubbed a "rape kit," including condoms, rope, gloves, Vaseline, handcuffs and a balaclava.
He also had stolen photos and identification cards of several woman who worked in downtown office buildings. He had their names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as directions to their homes.
During the trial, Crown prosecutors Paul McDermott and Susan Orlando presented a raft of damning evidence against Mr. DeJesus. Their case included DNA evidence: The accused's semen and saliva was found on Ms. Posluns's jeans and underwear; traces of her DNA were found on handcuffs and a knife sheath that Mr. DeJesus was carrying when he was arrested.
A bloody left footprint at the crime scene matched Mr. DeJesus's size 10½ foot. He placed five cellphone calls to Ms. Posluns's office -- his number hidden -- on weekends and evenings when he knew the hard-working real-estate agent would be alone and vulnerable.