June 24, 2016 - 11:01 AM
KELOWNA - Tyler Jack Newton was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing a man in an unprovoked and brutal attack on a Kelowna transit bus in 2014.
Newton, 25, was initially charged with second degree murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter for killing 57-year-old Caesar Rosales by stabbing him in the neck from behind on a crowded bus the evening of Oct. 30, 2014. He fled the scene but was arrested the next day and has been in custody since.
Sentencing submissions began in Kelowna Supreme Court this week, with Crown lawyer Colin Forsyth asking Justice Heather Holmes for a sentence of ten years in prison. Newton's lawyer Jordan Watt says his client was in a state of drug-induced psychosis and did not know the consequences of his actions.
A doctors report says Newton does not remember the event, but believes him to have been out of his mind when he killed his victim.
"(Newton) suffered drug-induced psychosis where he had hallucinations and paranoid persecutory and grandiose delusions. At the time of the incident, he was floridly psychotic," the report says.
Justice Holmes called the act "near murder" but not premeditated.
"His act was deliberate… it was clear that death was almost inevitable," she said. "He (also) left the scene and discarded the knife thus indicating some attempt to avoid detention.”
With credit for time already served, Newton will spend four and a half more years in jail.
Rosales' younger brother Darwin Rosales traveled from the Philippines and was in the courtroom throughout sentencing submissions. He called Newton 'a wasted life' and questioned the Canadian Judicial System.
"True rehabilitation can only happen in long periods of confinement and contemplation," he said outside the courthouse. "Short confinement tends to let the offender focus on time to serve before he goes back to his old ways."
Also in the courtroom during sentencing were Newton's brother and parents, who declined to comment. Newton himself showed no emotion throught the proceeding and continued staring at the floor in front of him when his sentence was delivered.
Newton has an extensive criminal history going back to 2008, when he was charged with break and enter and theft over $5,000. He has appeared in court nearly every year since then on charges ranging from possession of stolen property and drugs to theft of a motor vehicle. He has 50 criminal convictions over the last five and a half years.
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