HALIFAX – The stepfather of a Montreal-born businesswoman and yoga instructor has denounced the “misogyny and entitlement” of the Halifax man who was ordered Wednesday to serve at least 15 years in prison for her murder.Nicholas Butcher stabbed his common-law partner, 32-year-old Kristin Johnston, to death inside her Halifax-area home on March 26, 2016. He was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder in April.The conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Joshua Arnold ruled Wednesday that the 36-year-old man would be able to apply for parole after serving 15 years, less 880 days for time served.Tom Bourne, Johnston’s stepfather, told reporters afterwards he was always taught to forgive people.“But what I have to forgive here with respect to this is pretty significant,” said Bourne outside of the courtroom.“I have to forgive the stabbing death of Kristin; the misogyny and entitlement, cruelty and objectification of Krissy; his 10 hours of stalking behaviours and his controlling behaviours; his invasion of her privacy.”Bourne said his natural instinct would be to “do to him what he did to her,” but that he has to try and move past that feeling.“I can only speak for myself here, but if I don’t manage to forgive him, I’m going to be pretty twisted and beaten up forever,” he said.Bourne said Johnston’s death has caused “misery” and “suffering” to her mother, her father, her siblings, and so many others.“What was particularly hard to deal with was the trashing of Krissy’s reputation during the trial,” said Bourne, likely referring to how Butcher claimed he was acting in self defence when he stabbed Johnston.“Not content with killing her, he proceeded to try and kill her reputation.”Arnold recounted the harrowing details of the murder Wednesday as Butcher, wearing a dark suit and glasses, sat emotionless at his lawyer’s bench.He described how Butcher read Johnston’s Facebook messages, which discussed her desire to end their relationship.Butcher twice showed up unannounced to an apartment where Johnston was hanging out with friends, the second time finding her becoming intimate with someone. Butcher then demanded she return home with him.“Shortly after they arrived (home), Kristin Johnston changed her clothes and was lying in bed at her most vulnerable. Mr. Butcher then murdered Ms. Johnston. He put a pillow over her face and stabbed, slashed and cut her in the neck 10 times,” said Arnold.“Mr. Butcher then attempted suicide by cutting his own arm with a knife and a razor lying next to Ms. Johnston in bed. When this did not work, he stabbed himself in the neck 13 times. When this did not work, Mr. Butcher retrieved a mitre saw from storage in the basement, brought it to the bedroom, and then cut his own arm off.”The jury heard that Butcher’s right hand had been surgically reattached.Arnold said Butcher — who has a law degree — lived a “pro-social” lifestyle before the murder and does not have any prior involvement with the criminal justice system.But he noted there was some indication of “forethought” prior to Johnston’s death.“The nature of his offence, and the circumstances surrounding its commission, the actions of Mr. Butcher stalking Ms. Johnston during the evening he murdered her, murdering his common-law partner while she was at her most vulnerable, and in her own home, and in her own bed, warrant a significant increase beyond the 10-year minimum,” he said.“The circumstances of his crime overwhelm his previous good character.”Parole eligibility for second-degree murder must be set between 10 and 25 years.Johnston, whose brother owned a Bikram yoga studio in her hometown of Montreal, came to Halifax in 2011 with dreams of opening her own studio.She was quickly embraced by the local yoga community, becoming known as a kind and determined businesswoman with a magnetic personality.“Kristin Johnston’s family, friends and community loved her and miss her. People gravitated to her. She was the glue that bonded her family, and bonded many other groups of friends, including the peaceful yoga community,” Arnold noted in his decision.Despite her passion, Johnston’s studio shuttered about a month before her death.Friends testified at the trial that Johnston wanted to leave her Halifax life behind, and was “ready for a new chapter” in Tofino, B.C., where her sister lived.Crown lawyer Carla Ball had argued Butcher should not be allowed to apply for parole for 17 years, noting that he and Johnston were in a domestic relationship.Prosecutor Tanya Carter said the decision sends a strong message of deterrence.“As my colleague Ms. Ball had mentioned during our submission, we have seen an upward shift over the years, and that’s reflective of courts giving greater significance to the significant breach of trust that exists in domestic homicide,” said Carter.“Being in the relationship gives the murderer the opportunity, the access to that person that someone else wouldn’t have. As we argued, the facts suggest she was asleep and unable to defend herself.”Defence lawyer Peter Planetta had argued his client should be eligible for parole after 10 years, pointing to mitigating factors such as his clean record and prospects for rehabilitation.Planetta said Wednesday’s ruling was disappointing for his client.“At the end of the day, this is a terrible tragedy,” said Planetta just after Butcher was escorted out of the courtroom by sheriffs.“There’s a young lady who’s dead and a young man, both of them had promising lives, and one person is dead and the other one is sentenced to life in prison. That’s certainly not going to be any solace to the victim’s family and whatever the outcome of this hearing was not going to be satisfactory to Mr. Butcher either.”Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.