JUSTICE officials are seeking tougher parole eligibility for 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 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 his parole eligibility to be raised to 17 years.
Queen's Bench Justice Brenda Keyser 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 just 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, resulting in a skull fracture.
Beardy had been drinking with others in a nearby suite when he came across Seaton. Court heard robbery might 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 found Seaton's blood on Beardy's clothing, and several witnesses identified him as the attacker.
Beardy is the only one convicted of the three men charged. Devon Massan was acquitted at trial last year, and 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," Keyser said in giving 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 injuries. 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."