As lawyers argue over whether a Salmon Arm man convicted of killing a romantic rival as part of a teenaged love triangle more than eight years ago should be sentenced as a youth or as an adult, the mother of the man he shot to death said she believes the murderer is truly remorseful.
Tyler Myers, 22, was shot dead outside a Salmon Arm school on Nov. 21, 2008. Behind the trigger was a 16-year-old boy who was romantically involved with the same teenaged girl as Myers.
Monica Sikorski was 17 at the time. She pleaded guilty late last year to second-degree murder for her part in plotting the shooting and was handed a life sentence with no possibility of parole for seven years. Her name can be published because she was sentenced as an adult.
The teenaged gunman, now 25, was found guilty of first-degree murder by a Kamloops jury in June 2016. His sentencing was originally supposed to have taken place last September, but the case has been plagued by delays.
“Obviously, the appropriate sentence for the offender will accomplish its purpose to show accountability and to hopefully re-adjust his mindset,” Barbara Myers said on Monday outside B.C. Supreme Court. “Also it should bring some sort of closure for the family of the accused. I’m sure they’re worried sick for their son.”
When asked whether she forgives the killer, Myers said such a thing is not her place.
“When it comes to my forgiveness, it’s not a matter of whether I forgive him,” she said. “My concern is that he has a heartfelt remorse and it’s going to help him, too — it’s going to make him, eventually, into the person he’s going to become.”
Myers said she believes the killer has shown such remorse.
“I think so,” she said. “From what I can see, I really think so. Just knowing his family, his upbringing tells me he comes from a good family.”
Myers said she did not know the killer’s family prior to proceedings getting underway in court. But she has become quite familiar with the family as proceedings have progressed.
Myers was the first witness called at the killer’s trial. She told jurors she dropped her son off at a Salmon Arm school the night of the murder thinking he was meeting with friends.
Court heard Sikorski lured Myers to the schoolyard of Bastion Elementary, where the armed killer waited, hidden in a stand of trees. Sikorski and the killer had worked out a plan in which she would leave him alone in a well-lit area to be shot.
After the first shot, the killer emerged from the wooded area and fired a bullet into the back of Myers’ head at Sikorski’s urging.
Sikorski and the killer were not arrested for more than four years. They were only busted after an RCMP Mr. Big undercover operation targeting Sikorski.
The killer took the stand in his own defence at trial, admitting to the shooting, but maintaining he only did so on Sikorski’s orders.
On Tuesday, a psychologist is expected to testify by video about the killer’s mental state.
If the killer is sentenced as an adult, he would be handed an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for 10 years.
If he is sentenced as a youth, he would not receive a life sentence and the most time he could spend behind bars would be six years.