One of two men identified as suspects in the killing of a Winnipeg father of five last month made headlines three years ago after he was convicted of a random, unprovoked attack on a dog.
Alex Arumeul Genaille, 23, and 22-year-old Thunder Lightning Fontaine are wanted in the shooting death of Anthony Sinclair.
Sinclair, 35, was shot just minutes after leaving his home for a corner-store run during the evening of Dec. 9 near the intersection of Stella Avenue and McGregor Street. He died of his injuries in hospital.
Winnipeg police announced Thursday that arrest warrants had been issued for Genaille and Fontaine on second-degree murder charges. Police have not released any other details, including how the two men were identified and possible motive.
According to court records, both accused have been identified as low-functioning, with troubled backgrounds and a history of addictions and methamphetamine use.
Fontaine was convicted of possession of illegal homemade "zip guns" and ammunition in March 2020 and sentenced to 23 months in jail. Last March, Genaille was convicted of dangerous driving, motor vehicle theft and break, enter, commit assault; he was sentenced to time served plus one year in jail.
In early 2019, Genaille was sentenced to 15 months in jail after admitting to slashing a dog’s face through a fence in the yard of a North End home. Genaille claimed to have been drunk and said the attack was random. At the time, the judge rejected a 30-month prison term recommended by the Crown, calling it "excessive."
Sinclair’s common-law partner, Jayme-Lea Sinclair, said she believed this attack was also random and didn’t think her partner knew either suspect. Finding out police have suspects Thursday was difficult for her.
"It’s a good development, but Anthony’s not here," she said.
The couple had been together six years and were raising five boys. Anthony was fiercely protective, worrying about her safety in what sometimes felt like an unsafe neighbourhood — making this incident all the more devastating, she said.
"We’d see things happening all the time around us," she said. "He was worried about my safety in simple things like me going out on my own, taking a cab by myself."
She’s aware of the suspects’ prior records and said she was angry they were on the street after their recent convictions and sentences.
"I feel so lost without him; he was just going to the store to get a Pepsi." she said.
In April 2020, Genaille stole a car that had been left running and, after getting into a collision, forced his way into a house where he assaulted a male resident with a kitchen pot before police arrived and arrested him, court heard at his sentencing hearing last March.
That attack happened only a short time after he was released from jail for attacking the dog, Crown attorney Nick Saunders told court.
Genaille has been diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and possible schizophrenia, court heard.
"He doesn’t manage to spend much time in the community before he comes back into custody," Saunders said. "There are some negative influences in the community that I think plays a part, I think his diagnosis plays a big part, and his addiction plays a huge part."
Court heard Genaille has been offered psychological, housing and other supports.
"If Alex were a cat, this would be life number 10," a case co-ordinator with Provincial Alternative Support Services told court.
"We are kind of in overtime here," he said. "I’m not going to lie — I’m not sure what to do…. Deep down inside he is a very good person. It’s just all the adults failed (him) along the way when (he) was growing up."
Kyle Eisener couldn’t stop himself from sobbing Thursday morning when he learned two suspects had been named in his best friend’s slaying.
"That was my brother, and he’s going to live on forever," Eisener told the Free Press.
Sinclair and Eisener grew up in the Child and Family Services system together and went to the same high school. Like Jayme-Lea, Eisener remembers Anthony as a protector.
"We were both kids in the system, we looked out for each other. He stood up for me and looked out for me all the time," he said. "And in the system, you need to have one solid person to get you through it, because that system will eat you right up."
Both he and Jayme-Lea called on anyone with any information on Genaille and Fontaine to contact police.
"I know people say in the streets that it’s ratting," Eisener said. "It’s not ratting, it’s about justice in such a senseless crime that shouldn’t have happened at all."
Jayme-Lea is contemplating a life without her partner now.
"I’m still not myself, I can’t function properly most days," she said. "I’m thankful that I’ve got two teenage boys who are stepping up and helping me the best they can — and doing what Tony taught them to do."
Genaille and Fontaine are considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. Anyone with information on their whereabouts should call 204-986-6508, 911, or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.
Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.
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