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Baby Stealer = Wife Killer

April 9, 2010 permalink

Former Toronto Catholic Children's Aid Society social worker Donald Sneyd killed his wife Edyta Lewandowski with a shotgun blast to her neck.



Social worker admits killing ex-wife

Ella and Jerzy Lewandowski
Ella and Jerzy Lewandowski, parents of murder victim Edyta Lewandowski, leave court Thursday.

In a surprising turn of events, a Toronto social worker admitted he murdered his ex-wife two years ago after initially claiming she killed herself.

Donald Sneyd, 50, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder, saying he fired a single gunshot into Edyta Lewandowski’s neck on Feb. 25, 2008 in the foyer of their matrimonial home.

“Initial indications appeared ... it was a suicide, but the police were open-minded and conducted an exhaustive investigation, which included a deep look at the history of the accused and the deceased,” Det. John Biggerstaff said after the guilty plea.

“The family wants the world to know she didn’t kill herself, he did.”

A year before the 32-year-old woman’s murder, she alleged in a family court affidavit that her ex-husband “owns guns and has threatened me that he knows how to use them. ... I better be careful.”

Crown attorney Mary Humphrey said Sneyd called 911 to report that his ex-wife had shot herself in their Woodbine-Danforth-area home. She had arrived at 23 Morton Rd. to pick up the couple’s two-year-old toddler, Humphrey said in reading an agreed statement of facts.

Relatives and friends of the victim firmly believed she would not have killed herself. After a four-month investigation, police charged Sneyd with first-degree murder.

Sneyd was employed by the Catholic Children’s Aid Society as a child protection worker and later an investigator of allegations of abuse and neglect from 1988 until he resigned in 2002. He was later employed as a mental health case worker.

Sneyd met his wife in 2004. She was impregnated in the fall of that year and the couple wed in April 2005, four months before their son was born.

When their marriage deteriorated, he alleged his ex-wife was suicidal, mentally ill and an unfit mother and she was “forced to disprove these allegations,” Humphrey said.

The couple divorced in 2006. The ensuing custody battle was “marked by acrimony, accusations and recriminations by each against the other,” Humphrey said. Sneyd charged his estranged wife with assault in 2006 but she was acquitted the next year.

Sneyd feared losing custody of his son, Humphrey said.

On the night of the murder, Sneyd was carrying a handgun and said he intended to intimidate Lewandowski into accepting his custody and access conditions, Humphrey told Justice Brian Trafford.

After a struggle, “the defendant intentionally shot the deceased under her chin,”

Humphrey said.

Sneyd’s lawyer, John Rosen, said his client has “considerable remorse for what has happened.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Source: Toronto Sun