B.C. woman avoids prison in death of secret lover

Last Updated Mon, 29 Aug 2005 19:54:22 EDT
CBC News

A Prince George B.C., woman has been given a conditional sentence for killing her secret lover.

Teresa Layne Senner's conditional sentence of two years less a day means she can live in the community but must follow a curfew.

Senner, 43, was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Norman Wicks, a school principal in nearby Vanderhoof.

In addition to her curfew, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett also prohibited Senner from using the internet and e-mail during the length of her sentence.

Senner killed Norman Wicks with a single stab-wound to the groin in a quarrel at his home in Vanderhoof in November 2002.

At her trial, Senner testified she inadvertently cut Wicks during a struggle. But the court heard that the struggle came after she had learned that Wicks had no plans to leave his wife for her and that he was having simultaneous affairs with two other women.

Senner had been charged with second-degree murder but a six-man, six-woman jury found her guilty of manslaughter: culpable homicide committed in the heat of passion or sudden provocation.

Wicks, 50, was the principal of two Vanderhoof elementary schools. Senner was a clerk in the human resources department of the Vanderhoof school district in north-central British Columbia.

Senner said she had found numerous e-mails on Wick's computer detailing a sexual relationship between Wicks and one of Senner's colleagues.

Wicks confided personal information to the colleague about Senner. Other e-mails disclosed another relationship between Wicks and a woman whom Senner didn't know.

Evidence showed that on the day of his death, Wicks and Senner exchanged several e-mails and phone calls that Senner said built up the emotional tension between them.

Justice Parrett said Senner's version of events was not credible on numerous points. "She describes herself as completely passive," he said. "Things happen to her and around her. She doesn't describe herself as doing anything."

Parrett said Senner's version of events of how a long, sharp knife in the kitchen came to be used did not stand up to scrutiny. Senner claimed she grabbed the knife during the argument with Wicks because she was afraid it would fall off a counter and hurt one of them.

On the other hand, the judge said, Senner had no criminal record and had been a contributing member of society, with 50 letters before the court attesting to her good character.