June 18th, 2024

Man pleads guilty in relation to 2020 beating death


By Delon Shurtz on May 28, 2021.

Police tape marks the scene outside a Southside apartment building where a man was found beaten to death in April 2020 - Herald file photo by Ian Martens

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Mark Joel Moore faced many challenges and difficulties in his life, but he liked people, often befriended them, and would give the shirt off his back to someone in need.
He would even allow his friends to party in his apartment on 4 Avenue South, but it was during one of those parties last spring that his guests turned on him, beating him to death.
Jason James Crane Chief and Justin Robert White Cow were arrested several days later and charged with second-degree murder. Both men were scheduled to have a preliminary hearing next month, but Wednesday in Lethbridge provincial court White Cow pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter, and Thursday Judge Paul Pharo accepted a joint recommendation from the Crown and defence for a seven-year prison term.
“My family is shattered by the murder you’ve committed,” Moore’s brother Michael wrote in a victim impact statement read in court Wednesday. “We are all disgusted by what you have done. I now have a very strong anger inside me all the time, thinking about what you did. You will never be forgiven for this despicable act you have committed.”
Crown Prosecutor Clayton Giles told court White Cow, 34, and an “indeterminate” number of other guests who were partying and drinking at Moore’s home developed some animosity toward their host and began to argue with him. White Cow and at least one other person punched Moore and then White Cow pushed him from behind, causing Moore to strike his head near a window. White Cow kicked Moore and punched him in the face, and he and at least one other assailant struck him with wooden chairs.
“The noted chairs were used as weapons until they had broken,” Giles pointed out.
Giles, reading from an agreed statement of facts, said Moore initially survived the assault, asked for water and said he was in pain. But no one helped him.
White Cow remained in the residence following the beating, but left sometime around 5:30 a.m. the following day. The remaining partiers attempted to wake Moore, but when he wouldn’t respond they fled in fear, and no one called for help.
Shortly afterward another man, who was not at the party, arrived at Moore’s house, found his friend lying on his couch, and called police.
“He had a large gash on his head, was covered in a substantial amount of blood, was cold to the touch and not breathing,” Giles said.
There were dozens of cuts and abrasions to Moore’s face and body. His nose was broken and there was swelling to his brain. His death was the result of multiple blunt force injuries caused during the assault.
“This has been a tragic, life-changing event for myself and my family and Mark’s friends,” another brother wrote in his victim impact statement.
“I feel cheated that I never got to say goodbye. I’ve been robbed of a life together with my brother. Mark was a person with special needs. He was a very gentle, trusting person, and would not understand why anyone would want to hurt him.”
Giles said Moore was beaten for some time by more than one person, and following the assault, White Cow was indifferent to whether Moore died.
“Essentially he was beat with his own household items.”
Giles also added White Cow has a criminal record, with convictions for violence-related offences, including assaults and uttering threats.
Lethbridge lawyer Claudia Connolly told court that White Cow, who has two daughters, has been drinking alcohol for a long time, but only started using drugs around the time of the assault. After he was arrested he gave a culpatory statement to police and was prepared to accept responsibility for his actions.
In addition to his penitentiary sentence, for which he was given credit for 581 days spent in pre-trial custody, White Cow is prohibited from possessing weapons for life. He must also submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank.

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biff

stop blaming drugs for stupid behaviour. it is the stupid individual that acts stupidly when high.