HE'S apparently walked away from the gang lifestyle -- but Raymond Chartrand is going to have to wait a long time until he can step back into the community.
Chartrand, 30, was sentenced Tuesday to life behind bars with no parole eligibility for at least 15 years. The former Indian Posse member was convicted in May of second-degree murder for killing a leader of his criminal organization while they were imprisoned at Stony Mountain Institution.
Jurors heard several weeks of evidence but needed less than five hours of deliberations to reach their verdict.
The Crown had sought to have parole eligibility raised to 25 years, which is the maximum allowed by law. Prosecutor Brent Davidson said the homicide is Chartrand's 20th conviction.
"This is a lifelong criminal," said Davidson, noting Chartrand has spent about 80 per cent of his adult life in custody.
Defence lawyer Ryan Amy had urged Queen's Bench Justice Colleen Suche to keep parole eligibility at the mandatory minimum of 10 years. He said Chartrand has made great strides in his life, including abandoning his gang status.
The case involved the May 2006 death of Sheldon McKay, a two-time convicted killer who was a prominent member of the Indian Posse. Chartrand and four other co-accused were arrested in 2009 following a lengthy police investigation. The Crown called several gang members and former inmates to testify against Chartrand, including a man who claims he stood guard and watched as the attack occurred. Jurors believed the evidence of Jeffrey Bruyere, a co-accused who wasn't offered any deal in exchange for his testimony. Bruyere claimed an internal gang decision was made to kill McKay because of increasing concerns about his ability to run the gang.
Staff discovered McKay, 30, dead in his cell by staff after he failed to show up for a planned visit with his girlfriend and two children. An autopsy found he was asphyxiated. McKay was serving a life sentence for manslaughter for his part in the May 26, 2000, slaying of Adrien Bruyere in a gang-related attack (Jeffrey Bruyere and Adrien Bruyere were not related).