A man convicted for his role in a brutal revenge-driven murder on a First Nations Reserve near Rocky Mountain House faces a lengthy federal jail term, Red Deer court heard on Friday.
Darcy John Lightfoot, 30, of Rocky, could face at least six years in jail for his part in the death of Gordon Marlice Strawberry, 45, of the O’Chiese First Nation Reserve, located 53 km northwest of Rocky.
Lightfoot, was originally charged with second-degree murder, pleaded guilty on Friday to manslaughter.
He has been in custody since the Sept. 18, 2010 murder and will be sentenced on July 28 in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.
Lightfoot was one of six people charged with second-degree murder.
Crown prosecutor Robin Joudrey told provincial court the victim suffered a brutal beating. He had numerous bones broken and his face was slashed with a knife. Strawberry was hammered with a board, had his head stomped on and several people urinated on his battered body while it lay outside a residence after several hours of drinking.
The victim also had his braid cut off and it was tossed around by some of the accused.
Joudrey told Justice Monica Bast that Lightfoot didn’t start the attack but went to the kitchen to retrieve a knife, which he used to slash Strawberry’s face.
Joudrey said Strawberry attended the house party where several people became intoxicated and started attacking him, saying they wanted revenge for Strawberry’s stabbing a relative, Edgar Strawberry, 17, to death in 2003 on the reserve.
“This is for the late Edgar,” Joudrey said the attackers chanted.
Strawberry was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to manslaughter in 2004.
Lightfoot’s lawyer Walter Kubanek said his client was asked to urinate on the victim but only pretended and walked away.
Lightfoot has a lengthy record, including numerous convictions for violence.
Joudrey said Lightfoot should receive a significant sentence of six to eight years because he used a knife and his record was extensive. The prosecutor said the accused should receive one for one credit for his nine months in custody.
Kubanek, meanwhile, argued that Lighftoot should receive extra credit because of overcrowding in the remand centres.
Kubanek said Lightfoot had a tragic upbringing, bouncing around in foster homes and suffering severe burns in a house fire when he was a young teenager, confining him to hospital for six months.
He said the maximum sentence should be six years in jail.
A month-long murder preliminary hearing is set for August to hear evidence against the other five accused, who all remain in custody. All are charged with second-degree murder.
Preliminary hearings are held to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant the accused stand trial in Queen’s Bench.
Cameron Paul Strawberry, 37, Terrence Andy Beaverbones, 21, Evan Everest Foureyes, 21, Jenny Olivia Beaverbones, 26, and Malvina Jean Beaverbones, 36, are all charged.