La Ronge man sentenced to 15 years for 2022 fatal shooting in northern town

The killing happened on Bell's Point Road in La Ronge. (Google Earth - image credit)
The killing happened on Bell's Point Road in La Ronge. (Google Earth - image credit)

A La Ronge man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter is going to prison.

Kurt Ratt admitted to fatally shooting Eric Bouchard on May 17, 2022, in the northern Saskatchewan town. Ratt dragged Bouchard, wounded but not yet dead, to the nearby lake and submerged him in the water by placing a sandbag on his head, according to an agreed statement of facts.

It was presented at Court of King's Bench in Prince Albert in December 2023.

"Mr. Ratt presents to me as highly culpable," Justice Richard Danyliuk wrote in his sentencing decision.

"His involvement in criminality, his specific conduct within the context of this crime, and his general conduct are aggravating factors. The need for denunciation and deterrence in cases such as this ranks high within my consideration of apposite sentencing factors."

Ratt was sentenced to 15 years. With credit for time served, he has 12.5 years still to serve.

Court heard how Ratt and another man came to a house where Bouchard and another man were working on an SUV. Ratt and Bouchard began arguing, which led to the shooting.

"This was close to murder. There is nothing before me to explain, much less justify, the reason for this killing," Danyliuk wrote.

"Mr. Ratt had no business being in that yard. There was no need to possess, then brandish, a firearm. There was no reason to shoot. There was certainly no reason to carry the dead or dying man into the lake and weigh him down with sandbags. This is closer to murder than anything else."