Vittrekwa’s killer prepares for sentencing

The teenaged boy who has admitted to killing Brandy Vittrekwa is scheduled to be sentenced in May. The boy, now 16, appeared in court Tuesday after pleading guilty to manslaughter late last year.

The teenaged boy who has admitted to killing Brandy Vittrekwa is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

The boy, now 16, appeared in court Tuesday after pleading guilty to manslaughter late last year.

His identity is protected under Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act.

As part of the early stages of the sentencing, an agreed statement of facts was read into court.

It’s the first time any details have been released about what happened to Vittrekwa before she was found dead on a trail in the McIntyre subdivision of Whitehorse on Dec. 8, 2014.

The pathologist who performed the autopsy found that 17-year-old Vittrekwa had multiple blunt force injuries over her face and neck, prosecutor David McWhinnie told the court.

She was found lying on her back with a broken jaw, both her eyes were black and she was swollen and bloody after being the victim of a “sustained assault,” the court heard.

The pathologist was unable to determine a single cause of death. They ruled that the physical injuries were unlikely to have killed Vittrekwa on their own. Intoxication, asphyxiation and exposure combined with the injuries may have all played a role, the court heard.

The temperature outside that night was between 0 and -3 degrees Celsius. When Vittrekwa was found she was not wearing a coat. Her coat was a block away but it’s not known how it came off, McWhinnie said.

According to the agreed statement of facts, Vittrekwa, her killer and a third person had been chatting on Facebook that day.

After some convincing, Vittrekwa agreed to get together with the other two to drink.

The young offender brought over two 26-ounce bottles of alcohol to a house and the three of them drank most of what was there.

The accused allegedly was interested in Vittrekwa and tried to kiss her that night. She apparently found it comical, McWhinnie said.

By the end of the night both Vittrekwa and her killer were intoxicated, though she was much more drunk than he was, the court heard.

The pair was last seen walking away from the area where her body was found. He was the last person seen with her.

Vittrekwa’s killer admits that he knew he had badly hurt her or possibly killed her, the court heard.

When police searched his house they found Vittrekwa’s blood on a hoodie and a pair of shoes.

The teenager was originally charged with second degree murder. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter last December.

After hearing the facts, judge Peter Chisholm officially found him guilty yesterday.

The Crown is considering whether to suggest an adult sentence for the teenager. The court ordered a psychological report as well as a pre-sentencing report to help with that decision. The boy’s lawyer is also asking for a Gladue report.

There has been some difficulty finding someone to complete the Gladue report, which looks at an offender’s aboriginal ancestry. Two people were suggested, but they haven’t been able to do it, the court heard.

Chisholm ruled the pre-sentence and psychological report need to be done by April 29. He “recommended” that the Gladue report be done by the same deadline. If there continues to be problems finding someone to complete the report, the lawyers can come back to court, he said.

The teen’s sentencing will happen on May 20.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northwestel granted $41.4-million in new funding to improve Yukon internet access

The projects are expected to bring higher speeds and unlimited data to remote communities

Support, opposition expressed for restricted residential rezoning

Property owners want to add a suite to their home

Yukon government seeking expressions of interest for women’s halfway house

Advocates say that a facility for justice-involved women is long overdue

Uncertainties remain as Yukon schools submit COVID-19 back-to-school plans

School principals are hoping that new information will ease anxiety for parents and teachers

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Aug. 14, 2020

Yukon government commits to numerous health care system changes

Changes to include doubling the medical travel benefit and introducing universal childcare

Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee recommends halt on fishing for Chinook

The Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee is recommending the complete cessation of fishing for… Continue reading

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Lot… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: long-term care oversight

Letters to the editor published Aug. 12

Group of B.C. First Nations announce mutual support of travel, hunting restrictions

Group of B.C. First Nations announce mutual support of travel, hunting restrictions… Continue reading

Whitehorse airport baggage handling to be upgraded

Baggage handling at the Whitehorse airport is getting an upgrade next year.… Continue reading

Whitehorse driver pleads not guilty in 2019 pedestrian death

A Whitehorse driver charged with failing to yield for a pedestrian at… Continue reading

Yukon Filmmakers Fund awards announced

Four local filmmakers will receive $20,000 as they continue work on their… Continue reading

Most Read