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Man who played role in Beaumont mother’s death will not serve jail time

A man who admitted to dismembering and burning the body of a Beaumont mother in 2023 will not serve any time behind bars.

In court on Thursday afternoon, Joseph Donald Skelly, 69, received a two-year conditional sentence, which will be served for 12 months under full house arrest followed by 12 months with a curfew. A 12-month probation period will follow.

Skelly pleaded guilty in December to causing indignity to a dead body in Treasa Lynn Oberly’s July 2023 death. He and his son were both charged in connection to the death.

Oberly was reported missing on July 16, 2023, two days after she was last seen, according to the RCMP. The 40-year-old woman was found dead on July 24.

Oberly’s mother, Kay Zimath, told the court Thursday through her victim impact statement that she still cannot believe her baby girl is gone.

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“She was the light of my life. I truly believe my family has run into two monsters but that’s you and your son,” Zimath’s statement read.

“You will live with Satan when you die… I wish nothing but for you to be miserable for the rest of your life.”

Click to play video: 'Vigil planned for slain Beaumont mom'

Vigil planned for slain Beaumont mom

Zina Hinkley, a friend of Oberly’s, said she suffers from lack of sleep and constant fatigue.

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“I’m in ongoing therapy. I do fear of Joseph seeing his grandchild. Joseph, as a parent myself, I do not understand how you could have done this to your grandchild’s mother,” Hinkley said.

“You are not a person in my mind. You are a monster. I hope you never get to live in society again.”

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According to an agreed statement of facts, Joseph Skelly admitted to being intoxicated when his son Kenneth arrived at his house with Oberly’s remains on July 15, 2023.

The pair discussed what to do with Oberly’s body, including preventing her from being identified by investigators, according to the agreed statement of facts.

The court document outlined how Joseph Skelly dismembered and burnt Oberly’s body, then placed the ashes in a recycling bin.

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Throughout this time, Joseph Skelly continued to drink and became more intoxicated. He decided he was too intoxicated to drive, so waited until the next morning to drive the remains to a rural area “with the intent that she not be discovered,” the agreed statement of facts read.

“The accused was sober when he disposed of Ms. Oberly’s remains in the Whitecourt area,” read the document.

After originally telling the RCMP he believed Oberly returned to the United States (where her family lived), Joseph Skelly ultimately admitted to the RCMP he knew where her remains were located. Joseph Skelly then directed police to the area.

Oberly was only able to be identified through DNA analysis, according to the agreed statement of facts.

The Crown was seeking a sentence of three-and-a-half years, pointing to the aggravating factors that Skelly dismembered and burned Oberly’s body, then transported her remains to a rural area.

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The defence had sought a two-year conditional sentence with no jail time.

Court heard Thursday that Joseph Skelly was born and raised in Ontario and worked as a manager at Costco. He turned to alcohol after his wife and both of his parents died about 12 years ago, court heard.

Court heard Skelly had no criminal past prior to this, and has since sought treatment and attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Skelly’s son Chris Skelly read a reference letter in court Thursday, describing his dad as a “hardworking, honest man.”

“My dad was very involved in our upbringing… he loves spending time with his grandchildren,” Chris Skelly said. “I will not defend my dad’s action… he would take it back if he could.

A letter from Skelly to the Oberly family was also read in court Thursday.

“From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologize,” Skelly wrote. “I can’t imagine what your family is going through. I will never ever forgive myself for my actions. I will not drink again.

“I do not expect forgiveness. I will try to made amends everyday… I am so, so sorry.”

Kenneth Joseph Skelly — Oberly’s boyfriend and the father of her child — is also charged with second-degree murder in her death.

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— with files from Jasmine King, Global News.

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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