There is justice for Tess Richey and her heartbroken loved ones, according to family matriarch Christine Hermeston.
In a Toronto courtroom Monday, a jury returned a verdict of guilt against Kalen Schlatter in his trial for the first degree murder of Richey.
“Tess got her justice. We’ll never be happy, we’ll never be complete again. We can try to heal from here and do things in Tess’s name,” said Richey’s mother after hearing the verdict.
Schlatter denied sexually assaulting and killing Richey in a stairwell outside a house under renovation in the Village section of Toronto in late November 2017.
Richey was the youngest of five sisters and was just days short of her 23rd birthday when she was strangled to death.
The seven-week trial was the last jury trial still in progress following the court shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Richey’s sisters and mother — who located her daughter’s body while searching with a family friend — have ties to North Bay. Hermeston had gone to Toronto to find Tess after her daughter had not made contact following a night out drinking and dancing with an old friend from North Bay.
Schlatter will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. The sexual assault aspect makes the killing a first degree murder case. Sentencing will take place Wednesday.