Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 01/10/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
GASTON Genaille set a stranger on fire because he wouldn't give him a cigarette -- then stood by munching on doughnuts as the victim slowly burned to death.
Disturbing new facts about the September 2010 attack that made headlines across the country were presented to a Winnipeg courtroom Wednesday.
Genaille, 22, was given a life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. Gerald Dumas, 47, suffered serious burns to much of his body after being doused in a flammable substance and set ablaze while walking in an alley behind 544 Selkirk Ave. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition and died 17 days later.
"His actions were shockingly evil," Crown attorney Mary Goska told court during Wednesday's sentencing hearing.
Genaille had been strolling through the North End when he came across Dumas and asked him for a cigarette, court was told. When Dumas didn't provide one, Genaille shoved him to the ground, rummaged through his pockets and found a bottle containing a flammable substance.
Genaille poured the liquid on Dumas's head and face, took out a lighter and ignited it. He stood by as his victim was consumed by flames, even popping into a nearby store to purchase doughnuts and then doubling back past Dumas when he was still on fire.
"He didn't do anything to try to put the flames out or to try to help Mr. Dumas in any way," said Goska. "In fact, he walked away, as one officer put it, 'cool as a cucumber.' "
Police arrived within five minutes and used a fire extinguisher on Dumas, but it was too late to save him from the massive burns and internal injuries he suffered.
Genaille admitted to the attack to several others that night and was promptly arrested. Video surveillance in the area captured much of it on tape, court was told.
Dumas was described by family and friends as a "gentle giant" who was randomly attacked after he went to buy beer.
Genaille was on probation at the time for a sexual assault conviction. He also comes from a troubled background that his lawyer presented to court.
In exchange for his guilty plea, which spared the need for a trial, the Crown agreed not to seek increased parole eligibility against Genaille. However, it will be up to the parole board to decide when, or if, he is ever released.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 10, 2013 A6
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
S and P upholds rating, confident province will balance books
Selinger sidesteps questions on rules for leadership race
Agreement ends standoff at Jenpeg station
Police looking for a suspect in an alleged road rage incident that left a man dead
Bowman to attend Grey Cup, promote Winnipeg as a tourist destination
Water problems not linked to frozen underground lines, city says
Bowman to introduce proposals next week to keep campaign promises
City considers annual review for CAO
Police seek help in finding teen last seen in Fort Rouge
RCMP arrest Norway House man and woman after finding drugs, cash
Expanded powers for conservation officers
Doug & Buck gear up for Grey Cup
Teen who killed party-goer with punch avoids jail
Guay Park riverbank cash not lost, but project's future unclear
Winnipeg man jailed for assaulting girlfriend, off-duty officer
Snow-route parking ban begins Monday
Polar bears return to enclosure
Man arrested after multiple stabbings
Winnipeg shoppers hope for Black Friday deals
Firm fined $50K for fatal workplace accident
MD rapped after death, error
Woman jailed for running over man
Warmer today, with snow likely this morning
Councillors stunned riverbank cash gone
Winnipeg Airports Authority's debt soars to $646.3 million
Handful of First Nations yet to disclose finances
Earthling to touch down in city
New community-mailbox sites in St. Vital
Hola! Parents seek Spanish program at Luxton School
Thalidomide survivor hopes ongoing help around the corner
Oswald says she's being wooed
My life as an impoverished single mom
Keeping your baby happy and warm this winter
Siloam Mission gets step up on foot problems
Quenching a thirst