La Loche high school in La Loche, Sask. (The Canadian Press)

La Loche school shooter appeals life sentence

Young man, who cannot be named, killed four and injured seven in northern Saskatchewan

A young man who killed four people and injured seven others when he shot up a school and a home in northern Saskatchewan is appealing his adult sentence.

A judge sentenced the shooter last month to life in prison with no chance at parole for 10 years.

He was weeks away from his 18th birthday in January 2016 when he killed two teenage brothers at their home before he shot up the La Loche high school where a teacher and a teacher’s aide died.

Brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, teacher Adam Wood and teacher’s aide Marie Janvier died.

He was sentenced as an adult, but can’t be named because of his appeal.

His defence lawyer, Aaron Fox, said little about the appeal Tuesday other than that he will ask for the order directing that his client be sentenced as adult to be set aside.

“There’s really not much else I can say at this time,” Fox said. “That’s the issue: should he have been sentenced as a youth or an adult. We’re arguing that he should have been sentenced as a youth.

“That will be the issue on the appeal.”

READ MORE: ‘Get out of here!’ The story from inside the La Loche school shooting

No date has been set for the hearing. A court communications officer indicated it is unlikely to be scheduled before the Court of Appeal’s fall sittings.

During the sentencing in May, Judge Janet McIvor called the shootings “senseless” and “coldly horrific.”

“These school shootings were planned and calculated to inflict as much damage as possible,” she told court.

The shooter pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

Court heard the shooter began formulating a plan as early as September 2015. He researched different kinds of guns and the damage they could do to people.

The night before the shootings, he did an online search asking, “What does it feel like to kill someone?”

McIvor said the shootings have had a lasting impact on the northern community. Fewer teachers are willing to work there and there has been an increase in substance abuse and suicides, the judge said.

Students in the community aren’t receiving the support they need and are being revictimized, she added.

The young man told court he can’t undo what he’s done, but he would if he could.

FEELING WHOLE AGAIN: How La Loche recovered from its own tragedy

His motive for the shooting is still unclear. Fox has said his client told him: “I ask myself that every day.”

The young man had been imprisoned at a provincial correctional centre, but was to serve his sentence in a federal penitentiary

Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan competitors to be featured in arm wrestling documentary

Arm Nation, featuring competitions from Kelowna and Penticton, will air on Oct. 20 on APTN

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Hundreds vote in advance polls in Summerland

General voting in municipal election scheduled for Oct. 20, 8 a.m.t o 8 p.m.

Contenders to return for Okanagan tour

Valdy, Gary Fjellgaard and Blu and Kelly Hopkins will perform at six venues

LETTER: Examine past record when voting

Summerland mayoral candidate Toni Boot approaches each issue in a fair and open minded manner

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who is running in Summerland’s election?

Introducing you to the candidates asking for your vote on Oct. 20

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read