Man gets life in prison for killing woman whose body was found behind Riverdale butcher shop
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:24AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 24, 2019 1:31PM EDT
A man convicted of murdering a 30-year-old Toronto woman and dumping part of her dismembered body behind a butcher shop in Riverdale has been sentenced to life in prison.
Ian Ohab, also known as Albert Ian Ohab, was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 22 years Wednesday in the death of Melissa Cooper.
Cooper’s partial remains were discovered behind a butcher shop at Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street back in April of 2016, a short time after she went missing.
Surveillance footage played in court showed Cooper and Ohab leaving an elevator together in his building.
At his trial, Ohab’s lawyers argued that Cooper had overdosed in his apartment and that in a panic while high on drugs, he decided to try and dispose of her body rather than call paramedics. He admitted to dismembering Cooper’s body, but denied killing her.
While a conclusive cause of death could not be determined because of the dismemberment, extensive bruises were located on Cooper’s lower torso and a friend who had sex with Cooper the night she disappeared testified that she had not been bruised when they met.
Cocaine and alcohol were found in a muscle sample, but proper toxicology tests could not be conducted.
Prosecutors argued in court that Cooper appeared to be wandering the building to purchase crack cocaine after visiting a friend when she met Ohab, who lured her in and then attacked her.
Ohab was convicted of second-degree murder on January 31, after a jury deliberated for about eight hours.
Cooper’s family has described her as a “very good person” who was her mother’s best friend. While her drug use was highlighted up at the trial, her family maintained that she was a “streetsmart” woman who would never have willingly placed herself in an unsafe situation.
Ohab was also sentenced to five years, to be served concurrently for dismembering Cooper’s body.
- With files from The Canadian Press