In a case that has gripped the nation, Ager Hasan, convicted of brutally stabbing his former girlfriend, Melinda Vasilije, to death in 2017, took the stand during his sentencing hearing.
“I was unable to handle the agony of our separation,” Hasan confessed, grappling to articulate the unraveled state of mind that led to the horrific crime.
In the early hours of April 28, 2017, Vasilije’s lifeless body was discovered in her Kitchener residence. Ravaged with 47 stab wounds, her life was most certainly snatched away in a moment of bloody frenzy. Before authorities could apprehend Hasan, however, he made a swift escape to the United States. Three months followed Vasilije’s death before he was captured and, in January 2018, extradited back to his native country.
A judgment was handed down on May 25, declaring Hasan guilty of second-degree murder.
With a lot of soul-searching, Hasan faced the court on the second day of his sentencing hearing, confessing his irredeemable guilt. “The reality is that Melinda should be alive today, nurturing her own children,” he lamented. Although he understood his actions fell utterly beyond the realms of pardon, he professed his self-reproach as self-evident, stating, “The idea of seeking forgiveness seems absurd… I am incapable of pardoning myself.”
Although Hasan admitted his guilt, he alleged his ex-girlfriend attacked him first, leading to him stabbing her twice before falling into a blackout. He adamantly refuted any suggestion of a premeditated intent to kill, painting a picture of a man losing control rather than a cold-blooded murderer. Hasan willingly offered himself up for lifelong incarceration yet rebuffed the notion that he was in his right mind during the attack.
However, the Crown’s compelling submission proposed a different narrative, asserting that Vasilije did not provoke the attack and that Hasan administered the fatal blows with not one, but two knives. They painted a graphic picture of the crime scene, with Crown Attorney Brendan Thomas decrying it as a “ghastly murder scene with 47 wounds inflicted with multiple knives.”
Thomas further underscored a court order issued before the incident that explicitly prohibited Hasan from any contact with Vasilije or from entering the Waterloo Region. He also emphasized Hasan’s breach of the order, which was issued following another altercation at Vasilije’s apartment.
While the defense sought a 14 to 15 year sentence, citing Hasan’s troubled upbringing and showing of remorse as mitigating factors, the Crown solicited a tougher sentence of 18 years, extending it beyond typical parameters for a crime of this nature in an effort to underscore the court’s stance against domestic homicides.
As parties on both sides presented their case, drenched in anguish and bitterness, seven heart-wrenching victim impact statements were read aloud in the court. Speaking through a veil of tears, Vasilije’s mother, Anna Todorivic, remembered her daughter, whom she called, “My heart, my soul, my best friend.”
The final decision regarding Hasan’s fate now rests in the hands of the court, and as the sentencing hearing was adjourned on Thursday, the weight of the decision palpably hangs in the air. As of now, no verdict has been reached.