Cam Fortems/Kamloops Daily News
A high school boxer turned prison enforcer who headed a “cowardly” gang-related attack will serve time in jail on weekends, after a B.C. Supreme Court justice found Kyle Walsh has since changed his life.
Walsh pleaded guilty to an assault at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre in December 2010.
Video provided by the jail showed Walsh conversing with Cranbrook shooting victim Chad Munroe and other inmates shortly after Kevin Winters was placed in their jail unit.
Winters pulled the trigger on Munroe outside a Cranbrook bar in 2009.
“It’s unknown how these two men were placed in the same unit,” said Justice Hope Hyslop.
The attack began as Walsh, who boxed as an amateur in high school, sucker punched Winters in the back of the head.
Winters was then set upon by three other inmates, including Munroe, and received a vicious beating for 20 seconds before guards entered the unit.
Walsh continued to punch and kick Winters as he lay on the ground. As guards pulled him off, Walsh thrust his arms in the air — an apparent victory cheer.
Hyslop called Walsh “a bully and a coward.
“You attacked a man from behind, to his head, while he was seated … It was a dispute where you had no stake or business. You did this for your own ego.”
Despite those sentiments, however, Hyslop chose not to side with the Crown, which asked for an 18- to 24-month jail term.
Hyslop said neither society in general nor Walsh himself would be well served by placing him for a long period in jail. The 24-year-old has eight convictions for assault, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
Walsh received a 90-day sentence, which he will serve on weekends to allow him to continue working. He is also on 30 months probation, including a curfew for eight months.
Since receiving bail in 2011, Walsh entered an ironworker apprenticeship program, has strengthened ties with his family and has met all the terms of his bail.
Walsh “has a sincere desire to become a useful member of society,” Hyslop said in her ruling Tuesday.
The shooting of Munroe in October 2009 triggered a gang war and plot to kill a rival drug dealer in Cranbrook. Three men were convicted in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops early last month of counselling murder of one of Winters’ associates.
The other inmates involved in Winters’ beating received sentences ranging from 12 to 24 months.