Update: 4:30 p.m.
Crown counsel is seeking a 10-year prison term for the manslaughter conviction of Kelowna man Tyler Jack Newton.
Crown counsel Colin Forsyth outlined a litany of past manslaughter sentences in making his argument before B.C.Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes as an appropriate sentence for Newton’s actions in causing the death of Caesar Rosales on a Kelowna transit bus on Oct. 30, 2014.
“The court should send a strong message of denunciation and deterrence in this case,” said Forsyth. “This incident was a blow to the community collectively as it took away some of a sense of security and safety. “
Forsyth also cited how Newton was intoxicated with drugs at the time, and as recently as Oct. 14 had suffered an overdose and was treated at Kelowna General Hospital, and was visited by a social worker who indicated their were community programs to help him with his drug issues.
Forsyth said Newton’s showed no interest in pursuing those opportunities, and was discharged from the hospital two days later.
Defence lawyer Jordan Watt will make his sentencing submission to the court on Thursday morning, starting at 10 a.m.
The stabbing death of Caesar Rosales while he was sitting on a transit bus is something his family never thought could happen in Canada, says his brother Darwin Rosales.
Darwin Rosales has traveled from the Philippines to attend the sentencing at B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna today for Tyler Jack Newton, who has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter after initially being charged with second-degree murder of Darwin’s brother on Oct. 30, 2014.
Darwin said his brother always assured him that Canada was a peaceful country, that he was safe from random criminal acts.
“So when we were called at home and told what happened to my brother, it was hard to believe at first something like this could happen,” said Darwin, speaking to the media on the courthouse steps during a lunch break in the sentencing proceedings.
Darwin said in his native country, crime is 80 to 90 per cent economic oriented, saying the kind of random criminal act that claimed his brother’s life is not common there.
“I’m not sure why this had to happen…my brother never had a chance to defend himself,” Darwin said.
He said his family remains angry at what happened, and their mother passed away during the court proceedings on this case without getting any sense of closure.
“I am hopeful when the sentence is handed down I and my family will get some closure from this. We are angry still today but there are different levels of anger,” Darwin said.
In his pre-sentence report, Crown counsel Colin Forsyth this morning told the court about the agreed upon facts of the case, how Newton was on a drug intoxicated state experiencing hallucinated visions when he stepped on No. 8 bus home from Orchard Park Mall to see his girlfriend who lived on Hein Road.
While the bus was stopped at the Leckie and Baron Road stop, Newton was seen switching seats, placing himself directly behind Rosales, and then without provocation stabbed him with his knife in the neck, slicing his jugular artery.
Nobody on the bus specifically saw Newton inflict the wound, but he immediately got up and left the bus, walking behind a nearby apartment building where he discarded the knife in a hedgerow.
Efforts to assist Rosales before emergency paramedics could arrive at the scene proved unsuccessful due to the nature of the wound.
Darwin Rosales, who was two years younger than his brother, referred to Newton’s history as a life wasted, citing his long record of criminal offences dating back to when he was a young offender up until he took Caesar’s life at age 24, ranging from breaching of court probation orders to drug possession and property related offences.
“My hope is that he will receive the maximum penalty,” said Darwin, noting that he feels Newton has no chance of being rehabilitated.
“What I would say to rehabilitation is that if you feel he can be rehabilitated, you let him live in your neighbourhood, in your house, and see how you would feel about that,” he said.
Defence lawyer Jordan Watt was to make his final arguments for sentencing this afternoon.