Thursday, June 20, 2024

Oliver Karafa, Lucy Li found guilty of 1st-degree murder, attempted murder

First Published:

Guilty on all charges. That’s how a jury found married couple Lucy Li and Oliver Karafa.

Both were convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the killing of 39-year-old Tyler Pratt and shooting of his pregnant girlfriend, Jordyn Romano.

First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence in prison with 25 years before parole can be considered.

The jury deliberated for less than one day, returning to Hamilton’s John Sopinka Courthouse Friday around 11 a.m. to deliver their verdict.

Romano, sitting in the courtroom with her supporters, cried out and hugged her mom. The family thanked each member of the jury as they left the courtroom.

Neither Li nor Karafa reacted to the jury’s verdict.

Judge Harrison Arrell said in his sentencing, “The court heard how it was February 2021, when Romano was shot in the heart and lost her pregnancy. Pratt was shot fatally, at least five times.”

READ MORE: Closing statements delivered in Oliver Karafa and Lucy Li murder trial

In his lawyer’s closing statements, Karafa admitted to pulling the trigger but argued it wasn’t premeditated. His lawyer asked the jury to find Karafa guilty of second-degree murder, not first.

In his closing statements earlier this week, the Crown attorney laid out his theory for what happened the night of the killing. He suggested Karafa knew he couldn’t pay Pratt back the half a million dollars Pratt had invested in a failing business overseas, and planned to kill him.

The Crown argued that while Li never picked up the gun, she aided Karafa in his preparations, creating a fraudulent life insurance policy to buy them time, purchasing a car to be driven to the scene, and swapping SIM cards with a friend so that electronic records would show Li was at their Toronto apartment during the time of the shooting.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” the Crown argued at the time, and it seems the jury agrees.

This is a developing news story. More to come.

READ MORE: Crown says accused killers Li, Karafa were planning a double murder

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