Updated: 3:30 p.m.
Chad Alphonse will not go to prison for the 2016 killing of Waylon Jackson.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Murray handed down a suspended sentence and three years of probation to Alphonse. The first year will be served as a continuation of his current house arrest as he continues his treatment for alcoholism.
Murray said it was “heartbreaking circumstances,” that led to Jackson’s “tragic and senseless” death.
“Whatever sentence I hand down, will not ease the pain or bring any solace to Waylon’s grieving family,” she said.
Murray described the Jackson’s actions as self defence in the context of an “alcohol-fueled, adrenaline pumping altercation.”
She said Alphonse was drunk and did not realize Jackson had died from the knife injuries he sustained. Since then he has accepted responsibility and shown remorse for his actions.
“Sending Alphonse to jail will not bring Waylon back, or heal the wounds left behind for those who cared about him,” she said.
The Crown had been seeking a jail sentence of six to eight years.
Original: Oct. 2
If Chad Alphonse was hoping the family of the man he killed would get closure from his sentencing, he was disappointed Tuesday.
“Chad, I’ll never forgive you. Maybe one day… but when you die, you’ll meet your true judge,” Percy Jackson, the father of slain Waylon Jackson, wrote in a victim impact statement that was read to the court, in Crown counsel’s sentencing submissions.
The elder Jackson said that he was struggling with the loss of his son every day and that his life was forever changed for the worse.
He has logged two years of sleepless nights since the March 2016 killing and continually feels the void left by loving phone-calls he no longer receives.
When he hugs Waylon’s daughter, he will tell her it’s from his son.
READ MORE: JURY FINDS ALPHONSE GUILTY
This is just one of 28 victim impact statements the court heard Tuesday, as part of Crown’s submissions.
Defence will offer theirs today and the sentence is expected to be rendered in the afternoon.
Alphonse was found guilty of the 2016 manslaughter of his friend in March.
A Kelowna jury comprised of eight women and four men delivered the verdict after a couple days of deliberation.
During the trial, the jury heard Alphonse, Jackson and their partners—who are sisters—had planned on decorating for a baby shower.
That night, however, they’d done little other than drinking and smoking pot, so in the early evening Jackson went upstairs with his common-law wife, Naomi Foureyes, to attend to their newborn daughter and the party came to an end.
Downstairs Alphonse and his girlfriend—who is also Naomi’s sister—got into an argument about how they were getting home.
The options were to call one of their grandparents or take the bus and the conversation got heated.
That’s when the situation took a fatal turn.
Defence lawyer Terry LaLiberté told jurors in closing submissions that Jackson went down the stairs “mad as a hatter” that Alphonse and his girlfriend were causing a disturbance.
“He wants them out of there,” said LaLiberté.
That anger led to a fight, he told jurors, and Jackson had Alphonse down and was pummelling him in a corner when Naomi Foureyes went down the stairs to see what was happening.
From the entry to the kitchen, she watched as Jackson then started hitting Alphonse over the head with a steel chair.
That’s when Foureyes yelled out for the fighting to stop.
“‘Waylon stop it, you’re going to kill him,’” is what she said, LaLiberté reminded jurors, referring to testimony rendered in the trial.
“What does that put in a person’s mind?”
A mind, he added, that was addled by a night of heavy boozing. Jackson dropped the chair and started to walk away.
Foureyes testified that he was looking at her as though he was going to say something.
LaLiberté told jurors that it was more likely that he was going toward his large machete shaped knife that was on the kitchen counter. He had shown it to “the boys” earlier in the night.
Alphonse told police that he hadn’t seen the knife since the previous Christmas, but LaLiberté said that the knife had a presence and it’s unlikely that he didn’t know it was there or the threat it posed.
That’s when he got up and fatally stabbed Jackson.
While LaLiberté presented the act as a reflex of survival, Crown counsel David Grabavac said Alphonse made a decision to cause bodily harm that he knew had the potential to kill.
“He stabbed Jackson because he was angry—he was angry because he lost the fight, and he was stabbing in retaliation,” said Grabavac.
He said Jackson had his back turned to Alphonse and pointed out that Foureyes had called her partner away from the confrontation.
As Jackson walked away, toward his wife and baby and with his back toward Alphonse, he was stabbed three times. Grabavac said it was once, creating an S-shape wound on his back, the next time under the armpit and the third time, through his lung and through the left ventricle of his heart.
That third strike with the knife was fatal and Jackson fell to the ground as fast as he likely turned around to face his assailant.
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