Man sentenced to death for Edmonton flower shop owner in mall robbery

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By Colette Derworiz

EDMONTON – The wife of a flower shop owner says her world fell apart when she received a hysterical call saying her husband was bleeding on the floor of a shopping mall.

Jordan Martin Cushnie, 25, pleaded guilty in May 2019 to manslaughter in the death of Iain Armstrong. He had tried to stop Cushnie from stealing a case from a cosmetics kiosk outside Armstrong’s Bunches florist in Edmonton’s Southgate Center a year earlier.

On Monday, Judge Eldon Simpson sentenced Cushnie to six years in prison.

Simpson said Armstrong, who was 61, fell and hit his head in the corner of another booth after receiving six punches from Cushnie.

Sharon Armstrong, who had been married to her husband for 37 years, said in a victim impact statement at Cushnie’s sentencing hearing earlier Monday that the morning of April 17, 2018 was normal as her husband left work in their family property. company.

“In a few hours my world would fall apart,” she said, explaining that she received a phone call from one of their employees and immediately called her husband’s brother and business partner.

When she arrived at the mall, she saw the building surrounded by emergency vehicles, she said.

“I felt my heart tighten,” she told the court.

She was diverted to the University of Alberta hospital, where she was greeted by police and called her son and daughter to meet her.

“We were all so scared and confused,” said Armstrong, who added that doctors began to use words like “terrible, catastrophic” to describe her husband’s injuries.

The family decided to take him out of life support three days later.

Sharon Armstrong was one of eight family and friends who provided the victim impact statements.

The couple’s daughter, Dana Mikulasik, said her world fell apart when she received the call that her father was in the hospital. “I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe.

Mikulasik said his family has a tradition of members choosing their favorite meal for their birthday dinner.

“That Friday, I had to come home to eat my favorite food: my dad’s homemade pizza,” she said sobbing. “Instead, on the eve of my 29th birthday, I sat down with my family in the hospital to make the decision to remove my father from life support.”

Mikulasik said his mental health was seriously damaged.

Sean Armstrong said he will never forget hearing his mother’s voice on the phone, running in his work boots to the hospital emergency room and seeing his father on a hospital stretcher.

“Such a spectacle was something unfathomable before, unimaginable to me.”

He said his father was a titan among men, kind and a role model.

Others – including Armstrong’s brother, sister-in-law, friend, and employees – spoke of his “ordinary kindness,” his hard-working nature, and his willingness to help others.

The Crown and the defense jointly recommended the six-year sentence. Cushnie had been in custody pending the conclusion of his case.

Simpson said manslaughter cases can be difficult as they range from near misses to near murder.

“Obviously, Mr. Armstrong’s close friends and family have been hurt forever,” the judge said. “Society has also been affected. “

He said the company loses its sense of security when a tragedy occurs in a public place such as a shopping mall.

The judge said he accepted the joint recommendation because Cushnie pleaded guilty and may not have anticipated that the beating would result in Armstrong’s death.

Cushnie was also sentenced to three years for the theft and one year for breach of probation, which is to be served along with his six-year sentence. He will receive credit for the time he’s served, so he has about three years left, Simpson said.

Sharon Armstrong said strong ties have kept family members close, but their collective grief is overwhelming.

Her husband’s 85-year-old mother lost her oldest son, her brother lost a best friend and business partner, and her children struggled, she said.

It also resulted in financial losses for the company, she added.

She said she will live with her husband’s death for the rest of her life.

“So far, I have served 856 days of my life sentence of grief and loss.”


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