Sentencing is underway for a man who beat a 12-year-old home invader to death with a baseball bat.
Tennessee Weedmark, 21, was found guilty of manslaughter earlier this fall for the killing of Albert Goosehead, who died of blunt-force trauma after a June 2009 beating on Bloodvein First Nation, 210 kilometres north of Winnipeg. He had asked jurors to clear him of any wrongdoing on the grounds he was acting in self-defence.
Weedmark returned to court Monday for sentencing. The Crown is seeking one more year in jail, in addition to nearly four years of time already served which will be given double-time credit of eight years. Weedmark’s arrest pre-dates new federal legislation which now prohibits the 2-for-1 practice on pre-trial custody.
Defence lawyer Darren Sawchuk has asked for no further time, saying his client should be set free immediately. The judge will hand down a decision on Wednesday.
The circumstances surrounding the killing amount to a love triangle of sorts, court was told.
Weedmark, then 18, had started dating a young woman in Bloodvein after a previous relationship with her sister, who was friends with Goosehead, ended. The ex-girlfriend was jealous her sister was dating Weedmark and claimed he assaulted her.
She told Goosehead and others about the alleged abuse, prompting Goosehead to grab a baseball bat and go with several friends to a home where Weedmark stayed.
One of those friends told jurors Goosehead smashed his way into the home in the middle of the night and a confrontation occurred.
Weedmark's girlfriend, who was pregnant, was struck with the bat. A second brawl erupted between the two sisters. At some point, Weedmark grabbed the bat and struck Goosehead three times in the head.
"If he didn't act, what was going to happen next? He didn't know, but he wasn't going to take the chance and find out," Sawchuk told jurors during closing arguments.
He said Goosehead was "out of control" and high on marijuana. Sawchuk told jurors not to be fooled by his young age and slight size.
"Please think of the entirety of the background," Sawchuk said. After hitting Goosehead, Weedmark tried to revive him, but it was too late.
Weedmark later gave a statement to police admitting what happened.
The Crown said Weedmark's actions were overkill and not legally justified. Sawchuk said his client regrets he didn't flee with his girlfriend.