Arguments were heard Wednesday in the sentencing of Chad Tyler Beck in Yellowknife. The matter is before the Northwest Territories Supreme Court.
The 33-year-old Fort Resolution man was found guilty of second-degree murder for killing 27-year-old Cameron Sayine with an axe on July 1, 2018.
Second-degree murder carries an automatic sentence of life in prison with no parole for a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years.
Victim impact statements
The two-day sentencing hearing began with victim impact statements.
No one from Cameron Sayine's family attended in person but statements by members of the family were read in court.
The victim's sister, Stephanie Sayine, spoke highly of her brother in her statement, writing about the impact his untimely death has had on their family. She wrote their father is drinking everyday and it's impacting his health. She wrote that her mind was lost and blown away from what had happened the day he died.
"He was not just my brother. He was my best friend, my rock, my protector, my everything," she wrote.
She added that she has to forgive Beck for what he did but she can't forget.
The victim impact statement of the victim's grandfather, Robert, was also read out in court.
"It was a horrific crime that impacted the whole family. We will never get over what happened," he wrote.
He added that it would take a lifetime to heal and that he's worried about Beck being released on parole and what that would do to the community. He wants to see Beck get the maximum penalty for his crime.
Crown attorney argues for 13-year sentence
The Crown attorney, Blair MacPherson, said Beck was a quiet guy that expressed remorse but he argued that the issue of bullying from the victim, if anything, was a motive for Beck, and that there were incidents between them leading up to the murder.
MacPherson said there had been violence directed toward Beck that day but the court should not see bullying as a determining factor.
He said Beck should be sentenced to life without parole for 13 years.
Defence argues for minimum sentence
During the session, Beck requested to speak to his lawyer, Peter Harte, briefly and handed him a note. Once the session reconvened, Harte said his client wanted to clarify to the court on record that he had not been bullied by the victim and that they had had interactions.
Harte said this action spoke of his client's character, that Beck was remorseful and that he accepted his actions from the beginning.
In a statement read by his lawyer, Beck said, "I can't sleep because it all plays out in my head and I see it again and again. I don't know what I can say to Cameron's family. He was taken from them too soon. I didn't want to kill him and I'm sorry."
The defence is asking for a sentence of life with the possibility of parole in 10 years. Harte said that doesn't mean that Beck would be necessarily eligible as he will have to satisfy the parole board, which is not a sure thing.
"We are dealing with an individual that is truthful and accepts responsibility. He hasn't made contact with his family and lives in misery. He can't sleep. He's on medication to help him sleep and control his anxiety," Harte told the court.
Harte added that his client is concerned about the impact this could have on his family, including an act of revenge for what he did.
"He's concerned that people think he's some kind of demon," Harte said.
During his incarceration Harte says Beck is working on getting his high school general equivalency diploma and that he's a star pupil in his class.
Beck made a request to the judge that he not be placed in segregation and instead kept in the general population because of his anxiety.
The sentencing hearing will resume in the Yellowknife court house Thursday at 3 p.m.