The mother of a teacher’s aide who died in a shooting at a northern Saskatchewan school says she’s disappointed her daughter’s killer is filing an appeal.
The young man who killed four people and injured seven others in La Loche was sentenced in May as an adult to life in prison with no chance at parole for 10 years. His lawyer filed an appeal of the sentence Tuesday.
“I don’t want him to get an appeal,” said Jackie Janvier, whose daughter, Marie Janvier, was one of those killed. ”That’s one thing I don’t want, because I’ve been through enough as it is already and yet have to start all over again.”
The shooter was weeks away from his 18th birthday in January 2016 when he killed teenage brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine at their home before he fatally shot Janvier and teacher Adam Wood at the high school.
Although he was sentenced as an adult, he can’t be named because of his appeal.
The shooter’s defence lawyer, Aaron Fox, said Tuesday that he will ask for the order that directs his client to be sentenced as an adult to be set aside.
“There’s really not much else I can say at this time,” Fox said. “That’s the issue: should he have been sentenced as a youth or an adult. We’re arguing that he should have been sentenced as a youth.”
Fox wouldn’t say why he didn’t appeal the decision immediately after the judge made the ruling in February. He said his office filed the notice of appeal within 30 days of sentencing, as allowed by the rules of the court.
Crown prosecutor Pouria Tabrizi-Reardigan referred all questions for the case to the Ministry of Justice.
“The Crown argued the teen should be sentenced as an adult given the seriousness of the crime and the offender’s circumstances. That is what happened,” a spokeswoman from the Ministry of Justice said in an email.
No date has been set for the hearing. A court communications officer indicated it is unlikely to be scheduled before the Court of Appeal’s fall sittings.
“The parties each have to file a written argument. The court will then set a date for the hearing of the appeal,” Fox said.
Janvier travelled from her home in La Loche to every court appearance since the shooting and said the appeal will be no different.
“I just want justice to be done,” she said.
The young man had been imprisoned at a provincial correctional centre, but was to serve his sentence in a federal penitentiary. Fox wouldn’t say where his client has been serving his sentence.
The shooter pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.
During the sentencing in May, Judge Janet McIvor called the shootings “senseless” and “coldly horrific.”
“These school shootings were planned and calculated to inflict as much damage as possible,” she told court.
Court heard the shooter began formulating a plan as early as September 2015. He researched different kinds of guns and the damage they could do to people.
The night before the shootings, he did an online search asking, “What does it feel like to kill someone?”
McIvor said the shootings have had a lasting impact on the northern community. Fewer teachers are willing to work there and there has been an increase in substance abuse and suicides, the judge said.
Students in the community aren’t receiving the support they need and are being revictimized, she added.
The shooter told court he can’t undo what he’s done, but he would if he could.
His motive for the shooting is still unclear. Fox has said his client told him: “I ask myself that every day.”
The Canadian Press