The woman who was said to egg on convicted killer Kirkland Russell as he repeatedly stabbed Douglas Presseau more than a year and a half ago is officially off the hook.
Victoria Sherri Purcell was originally charged with second-degree murder along with Russell for the killing of Presseau on July 7, 2017.
The alcohol-fuelled attack happened on a busy Friday evening on Princess Avenue as Presseau was helping an injured friend of the two accused. He was an innocent passerby being a Good Samaritan.
Russell pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Oct. 4, 2018. Crown counsel Satinder Sidhu explained that the plea was accepted because Russell’s extreme drunkenness at least in part eliminated the required intent required to prove murder.
During Russell’s sentencing hearing Feb. 11 and 12, the court heard that while he was stabbing Presseau, a witness came out of the nearby apartment.
Milton Gabriel was a resident of the low-rise apartment on Princess Avenue. He came out and, followed by his wife, approached Russell and Presseau in the driveway.
“Russell momentarily turned his attention to them,” Sidhu said in court. “Miss Purcell yelled, asking him what he was doing. She told him to go back to Mr. Presseau.”
Russell did as Purcell ordered and he stabbed Presseau several more times, including once through the heart.
While Russell has been in custody since his arrest on July 21, 2017, and despite the fact that both were charged with murder, Purcell has been out of custody for most of the time since then. She attended most hearings as required, but as the sentencing hearing for Russell began, she was allowed to leave in anticipation of the charge against her being dropped.
That occurred in B.C. Supreme Court last week.
And that wasn’t the only killing that night in the downtown area. Before the interaction with Presseau, two of the three young women in the Russell group – it was never clarified if Purcell was one of them – got into a physical altercation with another woman at Five Corners Park. A man named Steven Drage came to help that woman, and while security guards were on the scene focused on the women fighting, Drage was stabbed and killed.
“It is unknown who was responsible for Mr. Drage’s death,” Crown explained at Russell’s sentencing hearing.
No one has ever been charged with his death.
As for Russell, Crown asked for eight to 10 years jail for killing Presseau. His lawyer Cassandra Cronin asked for five years.
Justice Terence Schultes is scheduled to render his decision on Feb. 21.
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