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Man accused of killing Saskatoon youth advocate will plead guilty to manslaughter

A photo of Justin Troy Ballantyne provided by Saskatoon Police Service. A photo of Justin Troy Ballantyne provided by Saskatoon Police Service.
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A man accused of killing a Saskatoon youth advocate and volunteer has arranged a plea deal, according to his defence lawyer.

Justin Ballantyne, 30, was set to go to a jury trial in March for second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Brandon Applegate. Instead, Ballantyne will plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter, his lawyer Brian Pfefferle says.

Pfefferle and the crown prosecutor negotiated a joint submission of 18 years for the manslaughter plea.

Applegate died on Oct. 4, 2020. Police were called to the intersection of Eighth Street East and Clarence Avenue for reports of an injured man.

Police said Applegate was found suffering from a gunshot wound and died in the hospital.

Brandon Applegate. (Facebook)

Friends and family remember Applegate as an outgoing, happy father of four.

Applegate worked on several Students Commission of Canada projects and was an advocate for youth voices.

Ballantyne and Applegate knew each other, according to police.

Ballantyne will be in court for his sentencing hearing on March 6.

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