In an Edmonton courtroom Wednesday, the sentencing hearing for Travis Vader ended – and his sentencing date scheduled, while the family of Lyle and Marie McCann prepares to close a tragic chapter.

Travis Vader has been convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann in 2010.

The couple disappeared after leaving their St. Albert home to drive to B.C. in their motorhome. Their burned-out motorhome and an SUV they had towed were later found, but their bodies have not.

Vader’s conviction came in November, 2016, and his sentencing started in December.

On Wednesday, the hearing wrapped up and Justice Denny Thomas scheduled Vader’s sentencing for January 25.

Defence lawyer Nathan Whitling is asking for a sentence of six years, minus time served. That sentence could lead to Vader’s release.

“The circumstances of this case very much boil down to speculation,” Whitling said. “Our view is that the matter must be presumed to be in the lower category of offences.”

The Crown is seeking a life sentence for Vader, arguing Vader must have killed one senior, and then the other – telling the court: “How would you accidentally kill two people?”

“I think it would be outrageous if he were to just receive time served and walk away,” Bret McCann told CTV News in a FaceTime interview from Australia.

The family is travelling in Australia, and will still be there when Vader’s sentence is handed down. In a rare move, the family will watch the decision through a live video link.

“I think we’re fortunate enough that we are able to be connected and I can have that sense of closure,” Nicole Walsh, the couple’s granddaughter, said in the FaceTime interview.

“We’re looking forward to this chapter being closed,” McCann said.

“We’re very hopeful and quite optimistic.”

With files from Bill Fortier