Second brother who killed 'outstanding' Siksika athlete handed 12-year sentence

·2 min read
Kristian Ayoungman, a 24-year-old hockey player and champion powwow dancer from the Siksika in southern Alberta, was shot while he and his friends were in a vehicle being chased down a rural highway between Strathmore and Siksika on March 17, 2019.  (Submitted by the Ayoungman family - image credit)
Kristian Ayoungman, a 24-year-old hockey player and champion powwow dancer from the Siksika in southern Alberta, was shot while he and his friends were in a vehicle being chased down a rural highway between Strathmore and Siksika on March 17, 2019. (Submitted by the Ayoungman family - image credit)

One of the brothers who killed a young athlete from the Siksika First Nation has been handed a 12-year sentence for his crime.

With credit for time served plus a six-month reduction for harsh pandemic-related conditions at the Calgary Remand Centre, Brandon Giffen has about 6½ years left to serve.

In March 2019, Giffen fatally shot Kristian Ayoungman, a 24-year-old hockey player and champion powwow dancer from Siksika.

Ayoungman was a "young man of outstanding character who had the love and admiration of his whole community," said Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Hall.

Killed over a few missing cigarettes

The killing took place after two groups of friends argued in the parking lot of a Strathmore pub. Kody Giffen bought a pack of cigarettes from Ayoungman but there were a few missing.

Kody became enraged and the two groups of friends got into a fight. He eventually drove to a nearby apartment building to get his brother.

Coincidentally, Ayoungman was dropping off a friend at the same building, and the two groups encountered each other a second time. Another altercation took place.

By then, Brandon was armed with a hunting rifle.

Kody handed 4-year sentence

When confronted with the gun, Ayoungman and his friends fled in a pickup truck.

The brothers chased after the victims. Kody was driving and Brandon was in the front passenger seat.

As the two groups drove south on Highway 817, Kody pulled over.

Brandon got out and fired at the truck, killing Ayoungman, who was in the back seat.

In August 2020, Kody Giffen pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Giffen was originally charged with first-degree murder but convicted following a trial last year of manslaughter.

Prosecutors Ron Simenik and Lynda Levesque had proposed a 14-year sentence, while defence lawyer Derek Jugnauth argued for a seven-year prison term.

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