Man jailed for 40 years over Tinder date murder in shopping mall food court
Alexander Villaluna had already decided what he would do if his ex-wife ever met a new partner: he would kill the man and wound her in a way she would never forget.
So when he came across Jovi Pilapil dining with her new date Keith Collins at a restaurant in Sydney, Australia, in late March 2016, his actions were "deliberate and methodical", Justice Robert Beech-Jones found on Thursday.
He stabbed Collins until he fell to the ground, then meted out the same treatment to Pilapil until she fled the restaurant, before bringing the knife back down to his first victim to complete the job.
The date at Kangnam BBQ restaurant was the first face-to-face meeting between the Pilapil and Collins, who had been corresponding on Tinder in the weeks earlier. Collins left behind four children and three step-children.
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"Of all the cowardly and pitiless acts that the offender carried out on this day, this action of finishing off a dying man lying on the ground was the most heinous, "Beech-Jones said.
As Beech-Jones sentenced Villaluna to 40 years in jail with a non-parole period of 30 years in the NSW Supreme Court, a "yes" hissed from the public benches where Collins family were seated.
Villaluna, 45, had previously pleaded guilty to murdering Collins, 53, and wounding nurse Pilapil, 39, with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm.
But Beech-Jones found despite this early plea he had displayed no remorse and still blamed his victims for their fate.
"He is awash with self-pity and anger borne of his sense of entitlement to control Pilapil and kill anyone who came close to her," Beech-Jones said.
Villaluna told the Probation and Parole Service that Pilapil "would be happy to be killed by me" because she blamed herself for the issues in their relationship, and that he had stabbed Collins in self-defence.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Villaluna had bought a hunting knife and camouflage from Surplus City in Parramatta, in western Sydney, three weeks before the attack, and warned Pilapil that she was lucky he was "letting (her) breathe".
"Please don't force me," he said in an email.
But on the day of the attack he discovered by ringing her work that she was not there, and by visiting her home that she was not there either, and when he found her car at Hornsby Westfield he parked beside it.
Then he went looking in all the restaurants.
He told the parole board that he had become enraged upon discovering that Pilapil had left her children at home and this rage had escalated when he observed Collins was "a white man". The attack itself had occurred in a state of fog, he said.
"Everything was turning grey," he said.
"Blacking out. Everything turned dark. I cannot think anymore. Like I'm watching a movie."
Beech-Jones said Villaluna was a "textbook example" of an extreme perpetrator of domestic violence, who believed he had ownership over his wife.
"The offender could not conceive of the possibility that she might be entitled to make her own choices about her life.
"The offender regarded Mr Collins as simply some intruder upon his domain who he had some right to eliminate."
His lack of hesitation in coming across the pair dining, which was evident on the CCTV footage, was particularly disturbing, Beech-Jones said.
"I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the offender was not suddenly enraged to take spontaneous action but instead was simply putting into effect something he had already determined to do for some time, namely kill any man that he thought was showing a romantic interest in his ex-partner."
Villaluna will be eligible for parole on March 30, 2046.
- Sydney Morning Herald