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Sask. boy fatally strangled his mother, court hears

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Nipawin, Sask. -

During a sentencing hearing in Nipawin, Sask., court heard how a 13-year-old boy killed his own mother in September 2021.

The boy was initially charged with first-degree murder in his mother's death. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to a lesser charge of second-degree murder.

The boy or his mother can not be identified due to provisions under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The woman was pregnant at the time of her death. She was past her expected due date, according to family.

During Tuesday's hearing, Crown prosecutor Wade Rogers read out the findings of the RCMP investigation into the woman's death.

Court heard the boy's mother was declared dead at a home in Choiceland, Sask. by emergency medical services personnel shortly after 1:45 a.m. Sept. 24, 2021.

At the scene, Nipawin RCMP officers located the then-13-year-old boy outside the home with his clothes covered in blood.

RCMP took the boy into custody and later charged him with first-degree murder.

Court heard how the boy struck his mother several times with a metal can of hornet spray and a wooden book holder wrapped with leather.

She was found bleeding, with a USB cable wrapped around her neck.

Rogers said experts believe the boy used his hands to asphyxiate his mother, leading to her death.

In a victim impact statement, the victim's boyfriend told the court he has suffered health problems following the murder causing him to miss work.

He said he was the father of the woman's unborn child. The due date of the baby was Sept. 23, he said.

“I’ll never get to hold my son. I don’t get to watch him grow up. This has torn our family apart,” he said outside the courtroom.

“It’s still very hard. I miss her every day,” he said.

A total of ten family members and friends attended the sentencing hearing, including the boyfriend's mother.

“She had told us she had finally found love and happiness as she was finally part of a family that loved her and her children,” she said.

“(The victim) would fill the room with love just from her presence,” she said.

She said the laws in Canada need to allow police to charge those found responsible for killing pregnant women with two counts of homicide.

“It’s very hard to bury a daughter-in-law and grandson. (At the funeral home) I held that baby and rocked him and talked to him - his lifeless body because of a senseless act,” she said.

She said the baby was eight pounds and seven ounces. The couple had picked out a name for the baby.

After hearing the victim impact statements, Justice Lloyd Stang provided the boy with an opportunity to address the court.

“Sorry for what I did and if I could go back and change it I would,” the now 14-year-old boy said somberly.

Rogers said the psychologist assigned to produce a report about the boy says he “lacks remorse” about the crime.

The Crown asked that the boy receive the maximum sentence permitted under the Youth Criminal Justice Act of seven years, with four years served in custody and three years under community supervision.

The Crown also asked for a lifetime ban from owning firearms and a DNA order — where a DNA sample is collected and stored in a databank.

The boy’s defence lawyers, Brian Pfefferle and Mark Brayford, argued an appropriate sentence for the crime would be five years given the boy's age and mental maturity level.

They also asked Stang to take the boy’s time served into consideration.

The boy has been on remand in a youth correctional facility, where he's spent 445 days in custody.

Stang reserved his sentencing decision until Jan. 20.

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