October 26th, 2020

Medicine Hat man sentenced to eight years for manslaughter


By Kuhl, Nick on December 13, 2019.

Jeremy Appel

Southern Alberta Newspapers – Medicine Hat

jappel@medicinehatnews.com

Leonard Beaulieu, who pled guilty Monday to manslaughter in relation to the shooting death of 24-year-old Jordan Pede, has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Wednesday’s sentencing submission was a joint submission between the Crown and defence, which was accepted by Justice Scott Brooker.

“Any sentence in a situation where someone is killed is, of course, never going to be sufficient to actually make up for that loss of life,” Crown prosecutor Jase Cowan told reporters outside the courthouse.

“I would never want anyone to think the Crown is saying this is equivalent to Mr. Pede losing his life. His family will be without him forever and this will never be just in that way.”

Beaulieu was charged with second-degree murder after he was arrested in connection with the 2016 New Year’s Eve slaying of Pede, but entered a guilty plea to manslaughter the day his trial was supposed to commence.

The Crown was unable to definitively determine whether Beaulieu or co-accused Luke Boxell fired the revolver that killed Pede, whom they were attempting to rob for cocaine.

“We needed to look at all times at the strength of our case.

“Of course, there may be people who knew more than what we could put before as evidence, but this sentence was in the range of what we could prove,” Cowan said.

Last year, Boxell was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. He was also initially charged with second-degree murder.

Cowan, who prosecuted Boxell and Beaulieu, said the discrepancy between their sentences resulted from personal factors, as well as how much the Crown was able to prove at the time of each suspect’s sentencing submissions.

“While the facts are the same, they were not in the same place individually and the evidence against them wasn’t of the same strength,” he said.

“The Crown was aware of some evidence that pointed in different directions and sometimes, unfortunately, the strength of evidence changes over time.

“What we knew when we were dealing with Mr. Boxell was not necessarily the same as what we could prove when we were dealing with Mr. Beaulieu.”

Aggravating factors for Beaulieu included the nature of the offence, that it was committed with a restricted weapon, that it was the result of a pre-planned robbery, and that they fled the scene of the crime, leaving Pede to die.

However, Beaulieu’s Indigenous heritage served as a mitigating factor, in addition to his young age, lack of a criminal record and guilty plea.

Although no official Gladue report was ordered, Beaulieu descends from residential school survivors on both sides of his family, a major Gladue factor.

Throughout his childhood, he was exposed to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as physical and gang-related violence.

“I take full responsibility for what happened and want to apologize to the victim’s family,” Beaulieu said when given the opportunity to address the court.

Beaulieu has been in custody since his arrest in February 2017, so with enhanced credit for time served he has three years and 10 months left in his sentence.

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