WINDSOR, Ont. -- An incarcerated drifter from Summerside, P.E.I. pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a Windsor, Ontario court Thursday afternoon in the slaying of an Ontario woman found strangled and partially clothed in a vacant lot in the summer of 2000.
Peter Dale MacDonald, who is already serving a life sentence for the 2000 murder of Toronto resident James Campbell, had originally been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Michelle Charette, 40.
The Crown and defence are recommending a seven-year sentence for the killing of Charette.
Prosecutor Gary Nikota told the court that MacDonald staged the murder scene to appear as though a sexual assault had taken place in the bid to divert attention from himself.
MacDonald had been a suspect in the Charette slaying since an informant tipped off police in July 2001. Investigators first charged MacDonald, then 43, with Charette's murder on July 4, 2001.
He was committed for trial in 2002 after a preliminary hearing. But on the eve of trial in 2003 the Crown withdrew the charges because of witness and evidence problems. Undercover police trailed MacDonald and got samples of his DNA, but the results turned out to be inconclusive.
Then, in the spring of 2009, detectives with the Windsor police major crimes unit were in Kingston on other business and paid MacDonald a visit.
In January of 2010, police announced they had new information and charged MacDonald with Charette's murder.
(By Trevor Wilhelm, Postmedia News)