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N.L. man gets life sentence for murder in Ontario

Photo courtesy The Waterloo Record
Derrick Lawlor
Photo courtesy The Waterloo Record Derrick Lawlor

A man who had been convicted of killing a man in this province has been given a life sentence for murdering a man in Ontario.

A jury in Kitchener found Derrick Michael Lawlor guilty earlier this week of first-degree murder in the strangulation of a man 3 ½ years ago. Lawlor won’t be eligible for parole for at least 25 years.

The 56-year-old, who lives in Waterloo, Ont., was arrested in June 2014, two months after the body of Michael James McCreadie was found near Waterloo’s Victoria Park.

It’s not the first time Lawlor was jailed for killing someone.

While living in St. John’s, he was convicted of manslaughter in 1985 for suffocating Locklyn Anderson Hutchings at a cabin in Victoria, just outside Carbonear, in 1983.

Lawlor had originally been charged with murder in that case, but the charge was downgraded shortly after. He was sentenced to four years in prison and later got a pardon.

But the jury in the Kitchener case didn’t hear about the Newfoundland conviction, as it’s the law that prior criminal background is not admissible during a trial, so as not to prejudice jurors or discriminate against the accused person.

In the Kitchener case, Lawlor had told police in an interview after his arrest that he had been violently raped by a man a year before McCreadie’s death and that he began drinking and “cruising for perpetrators,” according to The Waterloo Region Record newspaper.

The Record reported that the trial revealed Lawlor had once told a friend that he only had a few months to live and that he would spend what time he had left killing sexual offenders. The friend testified that Lawlor had told him that he was looking for a man who had sexually assaulted him.

Lawlor had posted on his Facebook account that he went to school at Mary Queen of the World and graduated from College of the North Atlantic in 1985. He recently worked as an adviser to students at the University of Waterloo.

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