An Inuvik, N.W.T., man has been sentenced to six years in prison for killing his older brother.
Michael Drescher, 39, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Tuesday for stabbing Gregory Drescher on June 5, 2020.
N.W.T. Supreme Court Justice Shannon Smallwood gave him a six-year sentence Wednesday morning, minus two and a half years for time he has already spent in custody.
The six-year sentence is what Crown prosecutor Trevor Johnson suggested Tuesday following Drescher's guilty plea. Drescher's defence lawyer, Kim Arial, had suggested a four-year prison term followed by two years of probation, with counselling.
Drescher gave an emotional apology in court Tuesday after his plea. He told the court he was sorry for his actions and "there has been so much loss in [their] family," referencing harm caused by drugs and alcohol. He expressed love for his children and said he wanted stability for them.
During sentencing on Wednesday, Smallwood recognized Drescher has a difficult and traumatic background, and noted his efforts to attend counselling while in custody. She also acknowledged his efforts to pursue careers, and his love for his children, but urged him to make meaningful changes so as not to pass on his trauma.
She also weighed his "poor history" of following court orders — at the time of the stabbing, he had been in the first month of an 18-month probation order on a previous assault conviction, and she noted he has numerous convictions on his record.
In addition to Michael Drescher's sentence, Smallwood ordered a 10-year ban on non-restricted firearms. She granted an exemption for sustenance purposes, given his Inuvialuit background and his expression of connection to cultural activities like hunting and fishing.
On Tuesday, the court heard his older brother Gregory Drescher was a talented carver, drum maker and father who was loved, but who was known to be violent when intoxicated.
According to the agreed statement of facts, the two brothers had fought in the week leading up to Gregory Drescher's death, and Michael Drescher had been angry at being injured in that fight.
After a night of drinking on June 5, 2020, he had an altercation with his brother and stabbed him six times.
In victim impact statements read aloud in court Tuesday, family members reminded Drescher that they remain a family despite the pain he caused them, and they hope to rebuild after he serves his sentence.