Luke Anthony MacLeod has received an 11 year prison sentence in connection with the death of his girlfriend in 2015, a homicide he had attempted to frame as a suicide.

On March 28, 2015, the body of 31-year-old Sheri Michelle Carpen was found in the basement suite of a residence in the 200 block of Pinetree Bay Northeast in the community of Pineridge.

MacLeod had told police that his girlfriend had taken her own life but an autopsy and additional police investigation refuted his claim. It was determined that Carpen had suffered blunt force trauma to her head and had been strangled during a fight fueled by cocaine and alcohol.  

MacLeod was arrested in Coaldale, Alberta in November 2015 and charged with second degree murder in connection with Carpen’s death.

“The aggravating features of this relationship where there had been the escalation of violence and then the final fatal assault upon Sheri where there was the head trauma and the strangulation aspect of it coupled again with the story that she was sort of responsible for her own death,” said Crown prosecutor Shane Parker. “That was a provable lie.”

On Tuesday, prior to sentencing on the lesser charge of manslaughter that Macleod had pleaded guilty in April to, Justice Keith Yamauchi said that it took nearly two minutes for MacLeod to squeeze the life out of his girlfriend.

The 34-year-old received an 11 year sentence on Tuesday and Yamauchi called the violent acts of the accused and his attempt to pose Carpen’s death as a suicide as ‘cruel and cowardly’.

“The family really did believe that that was a possibility and I think that caused a lot of confusion for them because then you start doubting yourself,” said Parker. “‘Did we miss something? Did we see something?’ and, of course, the answer was it never was a suicide. It was a story that he had made up to cover for his crime.”

During the proceedings, the court heard that the couple had a history of domestic violence.

Members of the Carpen’s family were not in court on Tuesday for MacLeod’s sentencing, an absence that Parker attributes to the toll that the lengthy, emotional trial has had on her loved ones.

With files from CTV"s Ina Sidhu