A sentencing judge is expected to hear what impact the 2018 murder of a man at Sunchild First Nation had on the community before he decides parole eligibility.
Evan Foureyes, 32, was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury on Monday night for stabbing Arley Lagrelle, 23, to death in a fight outside a store on the Sunchild reserve on Nov. 9, 2018.
Foureyes was also found guilty after a nine-day trial of using a rifle to kidnap a truck driver and getting him to drive him from Lodgepole to the truck stop on O’Chiese First Nation the morning after Lagrelle was stabbed. Foureyes was found not guilty of assaulting Lagrelle’s sister with a weapon shortly after the stabbing.
Foureyes and Lagrelle moved between the Sunchild and O’Chiese communities.
On Wednesday, Foureyes was back before Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Nick Devlin to have a sentencing date set.
Crown prosecutor Bruce Ritter told the judge that three victim impact statements are expected to be submitted, as well as a community impact statement. It was not clear yet whether the community statement would be coming from Sunchild or O’Chiese First Nation.
The province announced in November 2019 that the courts will begin accepting community impact statements, in which communities and victims can tell their stories about the emotional, economic, physical and mental health impacts of crime. The justice minister said at the time that he hoped the additional impact statements would change sentencing precedents.
Devlin also ordered that a pre-sentence report and a Gladue Report, which provides information on an Indigenous person’s circumstances to help with sentencing, be prepared.
Foureyes’ lawyer, Lynn Marie Rideout, told the judge that her client, who is being kept in Red Deer Remand Centre, wants to be sentenced as soon as possible.
However, preparing the necessary reports can often take months.
Devlin said he will take steps to try to expedite the process so the reports are prepared “as quickly as reasonably possible in order to make it thorough and helpful.
“If it’s going to take 12 weeks, I’m not going to accept that.”
The judge told Foureyes the reports will not make it worse for him but could have a “significant impact” on his parole eligibility. A second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for a period that ranges from 10 to 25 years.
Sentencing is expected to take place in January and Devlin said he wants it to happen on one day.
The case is expected to come back to court on Monday to set a sentencing date.