FASD in the News – Youth Murder Sentencing Resumes

REGINA — After a lengthy adjournment, a sentencing hearing for a man involved in the October 2012 death of Jessica Redman and Sheldon Yuzicappi continued Monday in the Regina Court of Queen’s Bench.

Court House

Crown prosecutor Drew Gillespie informed Justice Catherine Dawson that the man’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) assessment, which was the reason for the November adjournment, was now completed and with the court.

Redman, 27, and Yuzicappi, 28, were found stabbed and beaten to death on Oct. 11, 2012, at Jessica’s home on the Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation.

On Nov. 3, co-accused Brittany Bear pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and Kody Paul Bear to two counts of second-degree murder. They are currently serving life sentences with no chance of parole eligibility for 25 years and 18 years, respectively.

The third accused (in court Monday), now 20, was 17 at the time of the murders on the Fort Qu’Appelle area reserve. On Aug. 20, he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. Because of his age at the time of the offences, he cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Gillespie indicated he plans to cross-examine the author of the assessment — psychologist Elizabeth McGrath — on Wednesday.

Gillespie said he told McGrath on Nov. 27 he would be requesting her notes and tests used to create the assessment with Feb. 3 set as a deadline to receive the documents. But on Feb. 3, Gillespie was informed the documents wouldn’t be released. Rather than disclose the records, McGrath and her lawyer requested that Dawson review the items to determine which ones are relevant to the proceeding.

The concern with disclosing the documents was with the privacy of health information provided during the interviews, Gillespie explained.

Defence lawyer Richard Yaholnitsky said his client is willing to waive his privacy rights for the court.

The Crown is seeking to have the man sentenced as an adult. If that is the case, the publication ban on his identity would be lifted and he would receive a life sentence with parole eligibility at seven years.

If sentenced as a youth, the maximum sentence he would face is seven years.

Dawson released the man’s young offender’s file to the Crown and the defence. She adjourned the matter to this morning to review privacy issues regarding the hand-written notes and determine what will be released.

Besides calling McGrath to testify, Gillespie said he intends to have victim impact statements read into the record and present arguments this week.


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