Man who fatally shot romantic rival in Salmon Arm expected to be sentenced tomorrow - InfoNews.ca

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Man who fatally shot romantic rival in Salmon Arm expected to be sentenced tomorrow

Image Credit: Brendan Kergin
May 30, 2017 - 1:29 PM

KAMLOOPS - Lawyers made submissions in Kamloops court today on whether a 25-year-old man should be sentenced as a youth or adult for first-degree murder.

The man, who cannot be named due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was 16 years old when he shot and killed Tyler Myers, 22, near a Salmon Arm school in 2008. Myers and the gunman had been dating the same girl, Monica Sikorski, 17.

Last year, a jury found the gunman guilty of first-degree murder in Myers' death.

Sikorski pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for her part in the crime last year and was sentenced as an adult to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years.

If sentenced as a youth, the man could spend an additional six years behind bars, followed by four years of supervision. It's the maximum sentence for a youth convicted of first-degree murder. 

Defence lawyer Donna Turko called psychologist Dr. Kulwant Riar to the stand to testify on whether or not the young gunman was "emotionally disturbed" at the time of the shooting.

In her submissions, Turko was contemplating recommending an Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision program for the gunman, available to youth who have committed violent crimes and have a diagnosed mental illness.

However during Riar's testimony and cross-examination, he said such a program likely wouldn't be available to the gunman, because he doesn't need any rehabilitation over and above general counselling and possible substance abuse counselling.

"I do not believe (the gunman) suffered from any psychological disorder which could have precluded him for knowing right from wrong," Riar said.

Turko and Riar went back and forth for a period of time over whether or not the gunman's follower mentality — his need to please people — and insecurity led to an emotional disturbance. Riar ultimately classified those as personality traits and not necessarily things that could lead to an emotional disturbance.

After Turko and Crown prosecutor Bill Hilderman went through case law today, May 30, in Kamloops Supreme Court, Judge Sheri Donegan said she has been contemplating her decision on sentencing for a long time and that she would be prepared to give her decision tomorrow morning.

"I realize that this has been a very long road," Donegan said. "I want to consider what I've heard this morning... but I am prepared to give my decision tomorrow morning."

The gunman also addressed the court and Myers' family members today. He apologized and said he would write a personal apology letter to each member of the murder victim's family.

"Not a day passes where I don’t think of Tyler, or what I did," he said. "I know there's nothing I could ever say or do to right my wrongs."

Turko has maintained Sikorski manipulated her client, who was "addicted" to Sikorski's love. Court has heard Sikorski lured Myers to the schoolyard while the gunman waited in a wooded area to shoot him.

The couple took steps to cover up their part in Myers' death, by disposing of evidence and lying to the police. They almost got away with it, but thanks to an undercover police operation they were arrested four years after Myers' death.

If the gunman is sentenced as an adult, his name will be made public.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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