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Dozens march in memory of brutally murdered Okanagan woman – Okanagan

Dozens march in memory of brutally murdered Okanagan woman - Okanagan
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It’s been nine years since 26-year-old Roxanne Louie was brutally murdered in Penticton, B.C.

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On Friday, a march was held in Louie’s memory and in light of a recent parole board decision to let her convicted killer out.

“This is out of love and out of respect that we do this walk, and I’m just hoping that people see us and that we can continue to be the voice for Roxane Louie,” said Marty Marchand, who organized the march.

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Dozens of people, including local chiefs, drummers, and singers, marched downtown to the Penticton Courthouse Friday afternoon.

“It’s such a tragedy and anytime we have the opportunity to bring awareness to something like this, I have to do my part,” said Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel.


Click to play video: 'Convicted Penticton killer Grace Robotti granted temporary release to volunteer'


Convicted Penticton killer Grace Robotti granted temporary release to volunteer


Grace Elinor Robotti of Penticton was sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2015 killing of her great-grandchild’s mother. Robotti was found guilty of second-degree murder and indignity to human remains.

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Louie was visiting Penticton from Vancouver when a fight broke out over how the three-year-old boy should be cared for.


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Robotti brutally beat Louie over the head with a crowbar 26 times. She claimed self-defence during the trial, but that was ultimately rejected by the jury.

While Robotti cleaned up the bloody scene, her brother Pier Robotti disposed of the body in the woods near Naramata. Robotti first reported Louie missing, but the pair confessed to police a week later.

“I hope that today people look and say there isn’t justice, justice has not been served. And injustice continues to happen for not only Roxanne but a lot of murdered and missing Indigenous women,” said Marchand.

“I’m just hoping that we start to have some equality and have justice and be treated with respect.”


Click to play video: 'Watch Grace Robotti’s video-taped killing confession to Penticton RCMP'


Watch Grace Robotti’s video-taped killing confession to Penticton RCMP


Despite being sentenced to life in prison and no chance for full parole for 10 years, the Parole Board of Canada granted Robotti day parole last month.

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Robotti was also granted escorted leave by the parole board in December 2022. This was to allow Robotti to volunteer at a non-profit thrift store twice a week for one year.

“They should just call it what it is. A life sentence should be a life sentence, but to say that and then release them 10 years after this horrific murder occurred, that’s very misleading,” said Gabriel.

“Now she’s free, but the family has to live with this tragedy forever and I think that’s just a failure in the justice system. We all know that we have this continuous flaw in the system. It’s not fair and I’m here to support the family and do whatever I can to bring awareness of that failure in the justice system.”


Click to play video: 'Penticton seniors sentenced in death of 26-year-old woman'


Penticton seniors sentenced in death of 26-year-old woman


Marchand says the family and community were shocked by the parole board’s decision and those who made victim impact statements were not notified.

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She hopes Friday’s march will spark some change within the court system.

“The Parole Board of Canada think about your actions have some empathy for the family and friends of Roxanne Louie,” said Marchand.

“The young lady is not here and a lot of us miss her.”


Click to play video: 'Robotti cross-examined in Kelowna second-degree murder trial'


Robotti cross-examined in Kelowna second-degree murder trial


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