November 04, 2015 - 3:45 PM
KAMLOOPS - Prosecutors are preparing for sentencing instead of trial in a murder case from 2011 after last-minute guilty pleas were entered by two accused in Kamloops Supreme Court yesterday, Nov. 3.
Anthony James Scotchman and co-accused Travis Aaron Johnny were both originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Archie LePretre.
LePretre, originally from Vancouver, was in Kamloops visiting his cousin on March 22, 2011. The two were playing basketball at Stuart Wood Elementary when they were attacked. LePretre was transferred to Royal Inland Hospital with stab wounds but pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
Police arrested Johnny and charged him with murder in December 2013. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Scotchman, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was arrested and charged in April 2014. Two other men were arrested and released after RCMP investigators determined a lack of evidence.
Shortly after LePretre's death, police told media investigators believed the killing was gang-affiliated.
In addition to their murder charges, both Johnny and Scotchman faced commission of an offence for a criminal organization charges. Those charges were dropped earlier this year, according to one of the Crown prosecutors on the file, Peter Favell.
“When a charge is laid it isn’t static,” he said outside of court. “As we move forward over time, Crown’s case can get weaker or stronger. We advised the counsel for the accused a long time ago we weren’t going to be pursuing that."
Favell says the pleas were timely enough because a trial date wasn’t scheduled yet. Both Scotchman and Johnny will appear before a judge for sentencing in March 2016.
“At that time there will be a full-blown explanation of roles and what went on,” Favell said.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015