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

Chilliwack prolific offender charged in four alleged incidents in 12 days

Branden Tanner busted for alleged smash-and-grab Nov. 30, then incidents Dec. 3, Dec. 8 and Dec. 11

Four companies vying to open cannabis stores in locations across Chilliwack

Rezoning applications for non-medical cannabis outlets pending, and some will require variances

Christmas cheer, crafts and music at Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries

Make festive ornaments out of old books while enjoying Christmas music at Chilliwack libraries

Sardis Falcons top Heritage Woods in field lacrosse opener

The Falcons rallied from a halftime hole to take a big win on the road in Port Moody.

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

MAP: Christmas light displays in the Lower Mainland

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read