MacPherson pleads guilty to manslaughter for 2014 stabbing

A Yukon man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, avoiding a four-week trial. Michael MacPherson entered the plea on Feb. 1. He was originally charged with second-degree murder in the 2014 stabbing death of Tanner Sinclair.

A Yukon man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, avoiding a four-week trial.

Michael MacPherson entered the plea on Feb. 1. He was originally charged with second-degree murder in the 2014 stabbing death of Tanner Sinclair.

MacPherson, 34, will be sentenced in Yukon Supreme Court on Feb. 21.

According to an agreed statement of facts filed in court, MacPherson bought a truck from Sinclair sometime in the spring of 2014.

“A short time after this transaction occurred, Mr. MacPherson had some mechanical issues with the truck,” the statement says.

“Although arrangements were made between Mr. Sinclair and Mr. MacPherson to resolve those issues there was unresolved tension between them because Mr. MacPherson hadn’t paid for the parts.”

The tension came to a head on the night of July 14, 2014, when Sinclair, MacPherson and other acquaintances were together at a house in Copper Ridge.

“By all accounts everything seemed to be going well until Mr. MacPherson began making comments about the truck that Mr. Sinclair sold him,” according to court documents.

“Mr. Sinclair made a remark to the effect that he should just knock Mr. MacPherson out to which Mr. MacPerson replied, ‘just do it.’”

The two began fighting. One witness said she heard Sinclair say “enough” and “he is stabbing me” as MacPherson was swinging his arms with what was thought to be a knife.

Sinclair was stabbed five times, once in the arm and four times in the torso. He died at 5:30 a.m. on July 15.

The court documents describe MacPherson fleeing the scene after the fight.

Police issued a warrant for his arrest and sent press releases to Yukon, Alberta and British Columbia.

On July 17, he called his mother, telling her he “didn’t mean it. It was self-defence” and that he was considering taking an entire bottle of methadone.

That was the last anyone heard from MacPherson until July 25, more than a week after Sinclair was stabbed, when he turned himself into RCMP on Vancouver Island.

Sinclair was 27 years old when he was killed. He was an avid outdoorsman and father of two. His wife was pregnant with their second child when he died.

Following his death more than $100,000 was raised to support his family.

Unlike a murder conviction, a manslaughter plea does not come with a minimum sentence unless a firearm is used.

The maximum sentence for manslaughter is life in prison.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Silver rules out HST, layoffs and royalty changes

Yukon’s financial advisory panel has released its final report

City of Whitehorse budgets $30M for infrastructure over four years

‘I think we’re concentrating on the most important things’

Yukon community liaison for MMIWG inquiry fired

Melissa Carlick, the Whitehorse-based community liaison officer for the national Missing and… Continue reading

Yukon man holds no grudge after being attacked by bison

‘The poor guy was only trying to fend off someone who he knew was trying to kill him’

Straight and true: the story of the Yukon colours

Michael Gates | History Hunter Last week, I participated in the 150th… Continue reading

Get ready to tumble: Whitehorse’s Polarettes to flip out at fundraiser

‘There’s a mandatory five-minute break at the end, just so people don’t fall over’

Alaska’s governor goes to China

There are very different rules for resource projects depending on which side of the border you’re on

Yukon survey shows broad support for legal pot

But there’s no consensus on retail and distribution models

Yukon government releases survey on the territory’s liquor laws

Changes could include allowing sale of booze in grocery stores

Get family consent before moving patients to other hospitals: NDP critic

‘Where is the respect and where is the dignity?’

Bill C-17 passes third reading in House of Commons

The bill, which will repeal controversial amendments made to YESAA by Bill S-6, will now go to Senate

White Pass and Yukon Route musical chugs on without director

The cast and crew of Stonecliff are pushing forward without Conrad Boyce, who went on medical leave

Most Read