Sask. teen sentenced to 2.5 years for 2015 beating death

An 18-year-old man has received a two-and-a-half year sentence for killing Clayton Cyr in June 2015 in Punnichy, Sask.

The teen, who was 16 at the time, cannot be named because of a publication ban.

RCMP found Cyr's body in a shed on June 3, 2015. On June 11, the teen was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in December of 2016.

Cyr was from the George Gordon First Nation, approximately 120 kilometres north of Regina, near Punnichy, Sask.

Crown prosecutor Sonya Guiboche described the events of Cyr's death. She said Cyr was drinking and went to a home in Punnichy on June 2. There he encountered the teen who had been drinking and taking drugs for a period of days.

The teen and Cyr got into a verbal altercation and the teen pushed Cyr off a deck. 

Guiboche said Cyr never got up and was observed to be snoring. The teen punched and kicked Cyr while he lay motionless on the ground.

The teen dragged Cyr's body to a shed and then shaved his eyebrows while someone recorded a video.

The next morning, the teen checked on Cyr's body, pouring water on him, but Cyr did not wake up. The teen was later told by someone else at the house that Cyr had died. 

An autopsy revealed Cyr died from blunt force trauma to his abdomen. He had fractured ribs and a tear of an artery and suffered internal bleeding. The expert determined he would have died within 20 minutes of the attack.

"[Cyr's] life was cut short in a violent and tragic manner, in an environment involving booze and drugs which turned lethal," said Guiboche.

Cyr and the teen did not know one another.

Family reaction

Both Cyr's family and the family of the accused were present in the courtroom. Four impact statements were read by the Cyr family.

"I just feel so empty. When I think of him, I just cry," said aunt Cheryl Alexson.

Cyr's sister Colleen said her father died four days after they buried Clayton.

"I live with this pain every day and I don't wish this upon anyone else," said Cyr's sister Arlene.

Clayton Cyr also left behind three children.

'A downward spiral'

The teen's lawyer, Dave Andrews, said around the time of the killing his client was skipping school and spending his time drinking and doing drugs.

"[He] was on a downward spiral for a period of months," Andrews said.

Andrews said the teen witnessed domestic violence and alcohol abuse, and suffered abuse himself.

Although the accused did not address court, his lawyer said he did say if he could switch places with the Cyr he would.

The sentence

On Wednesday, Justice Timothy Keene accepted a joint submission from the Crown and defence. The sentence breaks down to one year in secure custody, six months in open custody and a one-year conditional sentence. 

The sentence includes the teen's participation in the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Program.
He will be the 28th young offender to be part of the program in Saskatchewan.

The IRCS program provides services for young people who have been convicted of a violent offence and have mental health needs. The teen qualifies because he suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The teen had no violent history or pattern of violence.

He did not address court but Justice Keene spoke to him during sentencing.

"I'm encouraged that this person seems remorseful," Keene said. 

"You started your life out with a dreadful set of circumstances. The best thing you can do is to try and make yourself better."