October 11, 2016 - 1:22 PM
‘IF YOU ROLL WIT EM, YOU GO DOWN WIT EM'
KAMLOOPS - A sentencing hearing is underway for a man guilty of a brutal murder in a Kamloops schoolyard and court is hearing new details about the actions of the accused before and after the murder.
Travis Johnny, 27, has pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the 2011 stabbing death of Archie LePretre. Johnny and co-accused Anthony Scotchman entered their pleas last year before the case went to trial. Johnny was arrested in connection with LePretre's death in December 2013 and was charged with murder.
Johnny appeared in Kamloops Supreme Court today, Oct. 11. He had three supporters in the court gallery while about a dozen of LePretre's family and friends were present.
Crown prosecutor Peter Favell read an agreed statement of facts detailing the moments leading up to LePretre’s murder.
LePretre was 23-years-old at the time. The Vancouver native was visiting his cousin Mohamod Shaa Tremblay who lives in Kamloops. The pair was playing basketball outside of Stuart Wood Elementary school on March 22, 2011. Favell says just before dinnertime that afternoon, three men entered the basketball court and interrupted LePretre’s game with Tremblay.
A witness called 911 to report several men fighting in the court. He said two men, Scotchman and an unidentified man, confronted LePretre’s cousin while another man, identified as Johnny, held LePretre in a headlock.
Shortly after that phone call, Tremblay called 911 to report his cousin had been stabbed. When police arrived he admitted to being in a gang called Game Tight Soldiers, a known rival of another gang called the Red Alert.
Tremblay told officers the men entered the court and asked who he and LePretre were. They responded they were from out of town and not affiliated with Game Tight Soldiers. The suspects, armed with a baseball bat and knives, began attacking both LePretre and Tremblay.
Favell, reading from Tremblay’s police statement, told the court LePretre and Tremblay were separated and cornered by the suspects. There was no way for them to leave the basketball court.
Tremblay heard LePretre calling out for help but couldn’t see what was going on. David and Scotchman forced Tremblay out of the basketball court and held the gate closed while Johnny punched LePretre repeatedly, with knives in each hand.
Favell read some of the autopsy report to the court, which found LePretre died from the loss of blood he suffered from at least eight significant stab wounds.
Tremblay told officers both he and LePretre were unarmed. Although he admitted to being a part of a gang, he believed he wasn’t well known in Kamloops. He insisted LePretre was not involved in gang activity.
TEXT MESSAGES LEADING UP TO MURDER
Court received some insight into Johnny’s conduct before and up to a year after the murder. Police intercepted text messages between Johnny and another man three days before the altercation. The man texted Johnny saying “GTS (Game Tight Soldiers) in town bro,” on March 18. “Just drove past us on the strip bro. Fucking Shaa and Archie and some other clown.”
Johnny texted back twice saying “call me,” and the man texted him later saying “I think I might know where they are” followed by “still no sign of these faggots.”
Police also obtained text messages between Johnny and Scotchman on March 18 while Johnny was texting with the other man. Johnny texted Scotchman telling him to call him a few hours after the other man allegedly saw LePretre downtown.
Later that night Johnny texted his girlfriend at the time, saying “Get the girls to watch her. I still gotta get these fag ass GTS boys.”
Police obtained text messages from almost a year after the murder between Johnny and his girlfriend. On March 19, 2012 his girlfriend texted him about the incident.
“Archie wasn’t even GTS,” she said.
“LMAO, if you roll wit em, you go down wit em,” Johnny replied.
“You’re stupid,” she responded.
“LMAO, that’s how I roll baby cakes,” Johnny said.
VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENTS
Two of LePretre's family members brought victim impact statements into court today, Oct. 11, while several others filed statements for Favell to read.
LePretre’s siblings, cousins and parents all wrote letters detailing the loss they’ve felt since LePretre’s death. One letter said his brother David self-medicated with drugs and alcohol after the murder which eventually led to his overdose death in 2015.
LePretre’s biological sister took the stand to read her letter. She hadn't lived in B.C. but had met LePretre in 2001.
“The next time I would see Archie would be lifeless in a casket,” she said.
Many of the family members focused on how LePretre was in the midst of turning his life around when he went to Kamloops to see Tremblay.
A second degree murder conviction automatically comes with a life sentence. Favell asked Judge Dev Dley that Johnny not be eligible for parole for 14 to 15 years.
“It was Mr. Johnny and Mr. Johnny alone who attacked Mr. LePretre with a knife,” Favell said.
Defence lawyer Don Campbell is asking for a 10 to 12 year parole ineligibility period for Johnny.
The sentencing hearing is expected to wrap up later this week.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016