Lytton man could get up to six years for stabbing death of uncle - InfoNews

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Lytton man could get up to six years for stabbing death of uncle

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December 19, 2017 - 4:56 PM

KAMLOOPS - A tragedy for the whole family is how lawyers describe the stabbing death of a Lytton man, who died at the hands of his nephew.

Colton Smith was 19 years old when he drunkenly stabbed his uncle, Jeremiah Johnson Smith, in their Lytton neighbourhood in January 2016.

Crown prosecutor Camille Cook told Kamloops Supreme Court today, Dec. 19, that a sentence of four to six years in prison would be fit for Smith, who pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter earlier this year.

Cook read an agreed statement of facts into the record, which detailed an alcohol-fueled day that eventually led up to Jeremiah’s death.

Smith and several others had been drinking during the day on Jan. 22, 2016 and headed to a neighbour’s home for a gathering.

“People were drinking heavily, as was the accused,” Cook said.

Smith and Jeremiah made their way to a neighbour’s house, but the homeowner did ask them to leave due to how drunk they were.

A short time later, court heard, the homeowner heard Smith and Jeremiah physically fighting, before hearing a loud banging noise. Smith then returned to the home, grabbed a dinner knife from the kitchen and headed back out to where Jermiah was.

“He was in a rage,” Cook told the court.

The homeowner went out to his porch about one minute later to see what was going on, and Smith came over and punched him in the face. Then, the homeowner and others in the area saw Jeremiah collapse on the ground, while a friend yelled for someone to call for help.

The homeowner, Jeremiah, the friend and Smith all went to the nearby hospital to seek treatment for Jeremiah, who they learned had been stabbed in the torso area.

Court heard the incident was reported to RCMP at that time.

After arriving at the hospital, Smith went to a hotel bar near the hospital where he was seen by employees stumbling around, with blood smears on him and wearing one boot. He didn’t drink any alcohol at the bar.

Police spotted Smith and arrested him for aggravated assault. He was taken into custody. Hours later, when Jeremiah died, Smith was arrested for the murder of his uncle.

“Mr. Jeremiah Smith was a beloved uncle to him, and that’s unfortunately the sad state of affairs,” Cook said.

Smith’s family has been torn apart by the incident, as court heard through a joint victim impact statement by Smith’s grandmother and mother. They said they find it hard to say anything negative about Smith although he took a beloved family member from them.

Court heard Smith was born into an environment of substance abuse and violence, so was used to it at a young  age. The family’s impact statement detailed how Jeremiah and Smith were planning on receiving treatment together before the incident.

Defence lawyer Richard Kaiser detailed Smith’s struggles with substance abuse from a young age, and asked Kamloops Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan to consider a provincial sentence with a lengthy probation term, which would mean a sentence of less than two years.

Smith has been given credit for two years and two months of time-served. Kaiser wants to see a three-year probation term for him.

The sentencing hearing is expected to continue tomorrow, Dec. 20.


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