Canadian Jewish leader’s killer gets 10 years

TORONTO (JTA) — The ex-convict who killed a Canadian Jewish leader in Barbados last year was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Curtis Joel Foster, 25, was sentenced March 23 in a Barbados court for killing Terry Schwarzfeld, who had just started her term as president of Canadian Hadassah WIZO and was executive director of Ottawa’s largest synagogue, Agudath Israel.

Originally charged with murder Foster, who had eight prior criminal convictions, pleaded guilty in January to manslaughter. Prosecutors said they accepted the plea because they were convinced a jury would not find that he intended to kill Schwarzfeld. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 16 to 20 years.

Schwarzfeld and her daughter-in-law, vacationing in Barbados, were walking on a secluded beach on Feb. 28, 2009 when Foster waved a gun at them and demanded money. When the women said they had none, Foster retrieved a piece of wood and chased them. He hit Schwarzfeld, 60, on the back of her head, then attacked her daughter-in-law, Luana Cotsman.

Cotsman survived, but Schwarzfeld never regained consciousness. She died of brain injuries on March 18, 2009, two weeks after being airlifted to a hospital in Ottawa.

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