Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Soldier gets five years for man's death

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BRANDON -- A Shilo soldier was sentenced to five years in prison this morning in the death of a 21-year-old man.

Duane Lacquette, known as Jon-Jon to his many friends and large Métis family, was found Jan. 16, 2010 lying naked in his basement following a night of drinking. Lacquette was the victim of a UFC-style choke-hold that strangled him.

Jason John Ouimet, a former amateur boxer and now a gunner at CFB Shilo, was charged with murder but pled guilty to manslaughter in late April. Ouimet claimed he passed out in Lacquette's basement and awoke to find a naked Lacquette performing oral sex on him. Crown Attorney Jim Ross said Ouimet was so infuriated by the unwanted sexual touching that he killed Lacquette when he could have used his superior size and fighting skills to simply subdue him instead.

Family and friends have said all along they do not believe Lacquette would have sexually assaulted anyone or would have put himself at risk of violence.

"He was not a person with anger in his heart," said Lacquette's uncle, Eugene, who read a victim impact statement penned by Lacquette's deaf father, Dwayne. "He carried life, humour and love with him and shared that with everyone he met."

The case was shrouded in mystery and rumour until last month when a publication ban on some preliminary hearing testimony was lifted. The testimony raised the question of whether Lacquette's death was the result of self-defence, a consensual encounter gone wrong or gay panic.

Ouimet's lawyer, Roberta Campbell, said Ouimet's reaction had nothing to do with Lacquette's sexual orientation and was instead a reaction to being sexually assaulted.


Updated on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM CDT: amends headline, closes comments

2:45 PM: amends lede paragraph

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