Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Up to six years urged for disabling attack

Victim left with brain damage

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A Gods Lake Narrows man could serve up to six years in prison after he pleaded guilty to beating a 19-year-old man two years ago, leaving him with permanent brain damage.

Provincial court Judge Tim Preston adjourned sentencing for Eugene Captain to Aug. 2 to give himself time to consider the two extreme sentencing recommendations from defence and Crown counsel.

Prosecutor Colleen Ritchot said Captain's criminal record combined with the seriousness of the injuries to the victim warranted a prison sentence in the five- to six-year range.

Defence counsel Alan Libman said Captain, 23, should be sentenced to his time in custody since his arrest and placed on probation.

Captain pleaded guilty in March to aggravated assault for a late-night fight at a drinking party near a storm retention pond in the 2900 block of Pembina Highway, between Killarney Avenue and Dalhousie Drive.

Captain and the 19-year-old man were both at the party and intoxicated. When the young man left to get more to drink, Captain began kissing the man's girlfriend. When the man returned and saw what was happening, he kicked Captain in the head.

Captain then punched the man twice in the head, knocking him unconscious.

Ritchot said Captain, who didn't want to leave the man alone in the field, carried him to a bus stop, all the while the man's girlfriend was hitting him.

Ritchot said before Captain could get to the bus stop, he dropped the man, who struck his head on the sidewalk.

Captain fled the scene but was arrested later.

Police reports said the man was taken to hospital in critical condition. Ritchot said the man suffers from permanent brain damage, adding it's not known whether the damage was caused by the punches or from being dropped on his head, or a combination of both.

While in custody for this charge, Captain was convicted in February 2012 for another aggravated assault and was given a six-month sentence. He also had a conviction for assault when he was a youth and several convictions for breaches of probation.

Ritchot said Captain seemed to have a good upbringing in Gods Lake Narrows. His parents were strict and there were no reports of physical abuse, incidents of violence or drug and alcohol abuse in the home.

Despite the stable upbringing, Ritchot said Captain developed addictions to alcohol and gambling. A pre-sentence report stated he was spending $200 a week on poker games while on welfare, all his friends have criminal records and some belong to gangs, and he is considered a high risk to reoffend.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2013 B5

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