Manslaughter conviction in Richmond Hill killing

Boris Bytensky, a Toronto Criminal Lawyer from BSB, successfully defended a homicide charge down to manslaughter


Daughter of the victim testified during the trial

Richmond Hill Liberal, February 19, 2013

By: Jeremy Grimaldi

An Israeli man who moved to Richmond Hill with his wife and two children a decade ago has been convicted of manslaughter in the killing of his wife in 2010.

Efim Klimovich, 55, arrested and charged with second-degree murder in 2010 by York Regional Police, received the news Thursday at the Newmarket courthouse. His Russian-speaking Rabbi was one of his only supporters in the courtroom.

York police were originally called, by Mr. Klimovich, to the upscale condominium complex at 5 Weldrick Avenue W., in the Yonge Street and Hwy. 7 area, Jan. 26, 2010.

Police arrived to find his 48-year-old wife dead as a result of multiple stab wounds.

During the trial it was heard that Mr. Klimovich, who was dressed in an well-worn sweater and black pants, had been estranged from his wife for months, but after a trip back to Israel the two reunited before becoming embroiled in a domestic dispute.

Mr. Klimovich, who originates from the tiny Eastern European state of Moldova, a landlocked country near Romania, claimed provocation and diminished capacity at the time of the episode, saying he was not capable of forming intent.

He did not have a history of violence, but the attack on his wife was described in court as “frenzied” on the night of the murder.

According to Det. Sgt. Alvaro Almeida, the family are very private and although the daughter, in her 20s did testify, the son, only a few years difference in age, did not and neither were present when the jury read out the result.

His defence lawyer, Boris Bytensky, said his client still can’t believe the killing ever happened.

“The is an event he just couldn’t have imagined,” he said. “He will never forgive himself for the rest of his life no matter the verdict.”

He added that the jury found that he didn’t have the intent to kill his wife and he acted in the heat of the moment as a “result of unexpected influences and may have been in a dissociative state”.

Mr. Klimovich, who at the time of the murder was an unemployed truck driver, was assisted for most of the trial with the aid of an interpreter.

The original case, slated to go ahead in March, ended in a mistrial after Mr. Klimovich’s lawyer requested a psychiatric evaluation, which would have taken too much of the five weeks the trial was slated for.

There is no word yet on whether the crown will appeal the conviction.

Manslaughter, unlike murder, does not carry an automatic sentence of life imprisonment, however it remains an option for the court.

The minimum sentence he can receive is four years.

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