December 7, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Manitoba justice officials are seeking increased parole eligibility against a Winnipeg man who beat a stranger to death as he tried to seek shelter from the cold.
Garvin Beardy, 31, was found guilty of second-degree murder earlier this year and now faces a mandatory penalty of life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years. He returned to court Friday for sentencing, where the Crown asked for parole eligibility to be raised to 17 years.
Queen's Bench Justice Brenda Keyser has reserved her decision.
Beardy and two other men were originally charged with the December 2008 killing of Radford Seaton, 35, inside a downtown apartment stairwell. Police believe Seaton was trying to escape the cold when he was randomly attacked while huddled inside the building at 200 Good St.
He suffered multiple blows to the head and face, which resulted in a skull fracture.
Beardy had been drinking with others in a nearby suite when he came across Seaton. Court heard robbery may have been the motive for the slaying, as a watch and MP3 player were stolen from the victim and were found in Beardy's possession.
Police also found the victim's blood on Beardy's clothing, and several witnesses identified him as the attacker.
Beardy is the only one to be convicted. Devon Massan was acquitted at trial last year, while his cousin, Kyle Massan, had his charges dismissed at a preliminary hearing.
"It is clear that Beardy was involved in the beating and assault of Seaton and tried to minimize it. It does not matter that the others, for whatever reason, could not be prosecuted successfully," Keyser said in handing down her verdict.
Beardy had pleaded not guilty and testified in his own defence that it was the Massan cousins who inflicted the majority of the damage. He did admit to kicking Seaton twice.
Keyser said that clearly made Beardy "a party to a multiple-party assault that culminated in the death of Seaton."
Updated on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM CST:
Updates, removes references to homeless