A Winnipeg teen has been given the maximum youth sentence for his role in a deadly stabbing.
The man, who was 17 at the time of the January 2012 attack, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Wednesday. In exchange, the Crown agreed not to apply to have him raised to adult court where he would have faced a mandatory life penalty with no chance of parole for at least seven years. There was no guarantee an application for an adult sentence would have been successful, and the Crown said they opted to strike a plea bargain with the accused to bring closure to the family.
Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the accused was given four years of custody and three years of community supervision. He also received no credit for 13 months of time already served.
Ian John Folster, 29, died in hospital, eight days after he was repeatedly stabbed inside a North End home. He had gotten engaged only one day before the attack and left behind four young children.
Police charged three accused with the slaying: the youth, and brothers Adam Monias, 18, and Stephan Monias, 21. Both adults remain before the courts and are presumed innocent.
Crown attorney Lisa Carson said Folster was socializing with the accused but became a target when he "laughed" at the fact one of their brothers had been arrested earlier that night for breaching his probation. The youth accused admits stabbing Folster in the neck, causing massive blood loss. Other wounds were to his back and stomach, court was told.
The killers shouted insults at Folster as he lay bleeding on the kitchen floor of the Bannerman Avenue residence, telling him, "See this is what happens" and Look at you now, you’re dying right now," according to Carson. They also threatened Folster’s girlfriend by putting a knife to her throat, saying she would also be killed if she told police what happened.
Folster’s family wept openly in court Tuesday as the Crown read a victim impact statement on their behalf and recounted details of the killing.
"No matter what judgement they receive, it doesn’t matter because there’s a higher power they’ll have to answer to," the statement read in part.
The young killer has an extensive prior criminal record including convictions for assault with a weapon, assaulting a police officer and breaching numerous court orders. Defence lawyer Evan Roitenberg told court his client’s life "went off the rails" when his father died suddenly at the age of 10.
Of course, it was noted in court that Folster’s four young children will now have to grow up under similar circumstances thanks to him.