julia ferguson

Man who stabbed receptionist at Toronto law office now faces first-degree murder charge

The man accused of the murder of Julia Ferguson, the 29-year-old Toronto woman who was viciously stabbed to death while at work as a receptionist at a King Street law firm, has now had his charges upgraded from second- to first-degree murder.

Friends, family and the community at large were rattled in the wake of the midday Sept. 2 attack, which was thought to be targeting not Ferguson herself but the office of Hicks Adams LLP, which the young woman unfortunately served as the face of for anyone who entered the space.

"The accused had a relationship with the business… not with the female victim in this incident," Toronto Police Detective Sergeant Tiffany Castell said during a media briefing after the incident, adding that the attack was "not random" and that "the business itself was certainly the target."

Toronto resident Osman Osman, 33, initially fled the scene at King and Sherbourne, but eventually turned himslf in to police.

Ferguson, meanwhile, clung to life for a few days before succumbing to her wounds in hospital on Sept. 5.

Though authorities have yet to provide further details in the case, Toronto Police Service did issue a release about the upgraded charges on Tuesday, saying Osman has been remanded in custody after appearing in court at College Park that same day.

A fundraiser in Ferguson's memory has raised upwards of $78,000 to support her family in the face of an unimaginable and unexpected loss.

"If you were blessed to know Julia you know what a beautiful and kind hearted soul she was. Those who know her can tell you that she was an exceptional human being. Julia was young, beautiful, vivacious and full of life," the GoFundMe reads.

"Even in her passing Julia will be helping others seeing that she decided to be an organ donor. She felt it was important to give anything she could to those in need. She will live on in our memories and through those she has and will help."

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