Whitehorse Daily Star

Sentencing arguments dates scheduled for Sheepway case

Crown prosecutors and Darryl Sheepway’s defence team are set to deliver arguments on sentencing for his second-degree murder conviction this spring.

By Emily Blake on February 7, 2018

Crown prosecutors and Darryl Sheepway’s defence team are set to deliver arguments on sentencing for his second-degree murder conviction this spring.

On Tuesday afternoon in Yukon Supreme Court, Justice Ron Veale scheduled dates of March 26 and April 20 for sentencing in the matter.

Defence counsel Vincent Larochelle appeared by phone. He said he plans to file a Charter application in the case, alleging breaches of section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

That section states “everyone has the right to not be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.”

Details of the application have yet to be filed with the court.

But Larochelle claimed Sheepway has been in segregation at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC) for a lengthy period of pre-trial custody.

Defence co-counsel Lynn MacDiarmid also told the court an expert is expected to interview Sheepway at the WCC sometime next week.

Larochelle noted the application likely won’t be ready by March 26.

Crown prosecutor Jennifer Grandy, however, said she wants to use available court time to the “fullest extent” possible.

She noted there are a number of victim impact statements that will be entered during sentencing.

As well, some of victim Chris Brisson’s family members will be travelling from outside Whitehorse to attend, Grandy added.

“We do want to get the matter on,” she said, noting that after April, there will be lengthier scheduling delays.

A pre-trial conference for the case has been set for Feb. 21 to firm up a timeline for sentencing.

“You’ll have to be on a timeline; it can’t just be loosey-goosey,” Justice Veale said.

Sheepway also appeared in the Whitehorse courtroom Tuesday, via video from the WCC. He looked markedly different from his in-court appearances during trial, wearing a red inmate uniform and sans beard.

During his last in-court appearance, when Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower delivered his verdict, Sheepway was accompanied by a court sheriff and WCC correctional officer.

RCMP officers from the provost unit normally transport those in custody from the courthouse cells to courtroom appearances.

But they are currently not working in the Whitehorse courthouse cellblock after an inspection by security experts uncovered “deficiencies”.

On Jan. 30, Sheepway was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Brisson.

During the trial late last year, he had been facing a first-degree murder charge and had wanted to plead guilty to manslaughter.

In his decision, Justice Gower found that Sheepway had intended to kill or cause serious body harm to Brisson when he fired two shots at the back of his truck in August 2015.

But Justice Gower did not find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Sheepway had planned or contemplated the consequences of the murder, required for a first-degree conviction.

A second-degree murder charge in Canada carries a mandatory life sentence with the possibility for parole after 10 to 25 years.

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