KAMLOOPS - The man who admitted to killing an innocent bystander in a Kamloops schoolyard more than five years ago has been sentencted to life in prison and will not be eligible for parole for at least 14 years.
Travis Johnny, 27, appeared in Kamloops Supreme Court today, Oct. 12, where Judge Dev Dley handed down his decision.
Johnny entered a last-minute guilty plea last year in the 2011 murder of Archie LePretre.
"Mr. LePretre had done nothing wrong," Dley said. "He was an innocent victim."
A second degree murder conviction automatically comes with a life sentence, but Dley had to decide how many years Johnny would spend in prison before he was eligable for parole. Defence lawyer Don Campell argued for 10 to 12 years, while Crown prosecutor Peter Favell wanted 14 to 15 years.
Court heard yesterday, Oct. 12, that Johnny and two other men approached LePretre and his cousin Mohamod Shaa Tremblay while they were playing basketball outside Stuart Wood Elementary. LePretre was originally from Vancouver and had come up to Kamloops to visit Tremblay.
Tremblay was a member of the Game Tight Soldiers gang, a rival of Johnny's Red Alert gang. Tremblay maintained LePretre was not affiliated with any gang and Favell referred to him as an "innocent bystander."
Court heard during the sentencing hearing that three men made their way into the basketball court. Two of them, Anthony Scotchman and an unidentified man, held Tremblay back and locked him out of the court, while Johnny stabbed LePretre repeatedly.
According to the autopsy report LePretre died of the blood he lost from his eight significant stab wounds.
Several text messages between Johnny, his girlfriend and the co-accused Scotchman were read in court yesterday, revealing Johnny's nonchalant attitude nearly a year after the murder. Some of LePretre's family members read victim impact statements detailing the loss they suffered after LePretre's murder. One of the submitted letters said the victim's brother David self-medicated with drugs and alcohol after the murder which eventually led to his overdose death in 2015.
Dley told the court today, that Johnny has plans to turn his life around, including taking programs while in prison to become a heavy-duty mechanic or a welder.
Johnny has a six-year-old daughter who he has had no part in raising. The mother of his child died from a drug overdose last year.
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