File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Irvine Jubal Fraser, 58, was at the end of his shift and route in February 2017, when he got into a fight with passenger Brian Kyle Thomas. The driver stepped off the bus and Thomas stabbed him a dozen times.

No parole for more than a decade for man who killed Winnipeg bus driver

WINNIPEG — A man convicted of killing a Winnipeg bus driver in what a judge described as a brutal and explosive stabbing will not be eligible for parole for 12 years.

Irvine Jubal Fraser, 58, was at the end of his shift and route in February 2017, when he got into a fight with passenger Brian Kyle Thomas.

Security cameras on the bus show that Thomas asked the driver where he was and if he could use a phone.

Fraser told Thomas to leave the bus several times before the driver grabbed the man by the neck of his sweater and bent him over backwards. The driver then shoved Thomas off the bus.

From outside the bus, Thomas swung his arms at Fraser and spat at him. The driver stepped off the bus and Thomas stabbed him a dozen times.

A jury found the 25-year-old guilty earlier this year of second-degree murder. The conviction carries an automatic sentence of life in prison, and the Crown and defence both asked there be no parole eligibility for 12 years.

Chief Justice Glenn Joyal agreed Wednesday, saying the bus driver used “undue aggression to an unruly passenger” but that the passenger’s response was “explosive and enraged.”

“(There was) a significant degree of brutality,” said Joyal.

The judge added that Fraser was no longer acting as a Winnipeg Transit operator when he became physical and stepped off the bus to face the unruly passenger, but he is not responsible for his own death.

Fraser’s family expressed anger outside court at the judge’s description.

“His shift didn’t end when the bus stopped. His shift ends when he brings the bus to the station,” said Fraser’s brother, Dean Byard.

“My brother was still … working at the time he was killed.”

Fraser’s death prompted calls for increased safety measures on Winnipeg buses, including safety shields for drivers.

Crown prosecutor Paul Girdlestone has said the killing had a profound impact on other drivers and their families.

The defence did not present evidence during the trial but argued that the bus driver provoked the attack.

After the judge read his sentencing decision, Thomas began yelling at his lawyer, Theodore Mariash, calling him a “sellout.”

Court heard Thomas had a dysfunctional childhood on the Shamattawa First Nation and both of his parents have been convicted of manslaughter. He became a permanent ward of Child and Family services when he was six.

Thomas also has fetal alcohol syndrome and addictions issues. Court heard he started sniffing solvents as a child and has a history of unpredictable and violent behaviour.

Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

Winnipeg bus driver

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Three more cases of COVID-19 found in Red Deer

Across the province, two more deaths have been confirmed

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools to lay off support staff June 1

Educational assistants at Red Deer Public Schools will be laid off June… Continue reading

Airport primed for expansion

Ambitious vision sees airport as air freight and aircraft servicing centre

Red Deer Food Bank getting support from Dr. Deena Hinshaw T-shirt sales

The Red Deer Food Bank will receive a big donation, thanks to… Continue reading

WATCH: Firefighters, RCMP help Red Deer boy celebrate 3rd birthday

Firefighters and RCMP officers helped a Red Deer boy celebrate his third… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

PM, Scheer among MPs to donate pay hike to charities during COVID-19 crisis

PM, Scheer among MPs to donate pay hike to charities during COVID-19 crisis

Feds likely didn’t have enough protective gear in emergency stockpile: Hajdu

Feds likely didn’t have enough protective gear in emergency stockpile: Hajdu

Supply-line disruptions could cause Canadian drug shortage

Supply-line disruptions could cause Canadian drug shortage

Duration of COVID-19 measures depends on obeying health authorities: PM

Duration of COVID-19 measures depends on obeying health authorities: PM

Parliament to sit again to approve more COVID-19 relief as spending climbs

Parliament to sit again to approve more COVID-19 relief as spending climbs

Trudeau: U.S. standing down plan to send soldiers to backstop northern border

Trudeau: U.S. standing down plan to send soldiers to backstop northern border

Most Read