December 6, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
A Winnipeg teen involved in a double homicide inside an Elmwood house party will receive an adult sentence.
Queen’s Bench Justice Perry Schulman ruled Tuesday that the killer, who was 17 at the time of the December 2009 attack, will face the most serious sanctions allowed by law.
That means an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years when he returns to court later this year to conclude the legal process. The man, who is now 21, had been seeking to remain in youth court where he would have only faced a maximum of six years in custody. His name can’t be published until the sentence is formally imposed.
A co-accused, Blake Whiteway, who was 16 at the time of the incident, previously was given the same adult sentence following a similar ruling.
Tyler Hawula and Matthew Reynolds, both 18, were gunned down at a house party at Hawula's home on Martin Avenue West and died from their injuries. Kyle St. Germain was seriously injured.
"It was a cold-blooded shooting," Schulman said. "It was a crime of sheer horror."
The December 2009 attack was launched after Whiteway and the other youth were kicked out of the party earlier in the night, after Whiteway became argumentative and began brandishing weapons and frightening people.
Whiteway, the other youth and two more young friends returned to the home determined to exact revenge for what they considered a major insult. Whiteway and the other youth went inside the home where they targeted Hawula and Reynolds in the kitchen, and Whiteway fired one fatal shot at each of them. The two then calmly walked into the living room and fired a single shot at St. Germain, seriously wounding him.
Whiteway and his accomplice who entered the home were charged with two counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder. They were convicted at trial in November.
Another youth co-accused received a manslaughter sentence in youth court. Another gang member who was with them but remained outside the house, Cody Delorme, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received an 11-year sentence.
At the sentencing hearing, Hawula and Reynolds were described as smart, hard-working boys who were never in trouble with the law and not linked to any street gang, well-liked and admired by their friends and teachers, and who acted as mentors to younger kids in the neighbourhood.
Whiteway is from Gods Lake Narrows and also suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. He was set on fire at the age of six and later taunted for years by other youths because of the scars. Whiteway is a member of a local native street gang.