Kelowna lady who fatally stabbed a youngster faces as much as 1.5 years in jail – Williams Lake Tribune
Prosecutors are calling for one to 1.5 years in prison and custody for a Kelowna woman charged with stabbing and killing 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard in June 2019.
The 19-year-old, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act because she was 17 at the time of the incident, was sentenced in Kelowna courts on Friday June 18.
Crown prosecutor David Grabavac said the appropriate prison term for the woman is two to three years, half of which served as imprisonment. But defense attorney Joe Killoran suggested the woman seek assistance from the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision (IRCS) program instead, adding that incarceration would do more harm than good.
“We are dealing with a young woman who needs all-round supports. She needs some help. She has made great strides in terms of her sobriety, mental health, and substance abuse, ”he said.
Oral argument ends with stabbing
At the time of the stabbing, both the woman and Beauregard lived on the street.
At around 11:20 p.m. on June 27, 2019, Ms. Beauregard stabbed twice in the arm behind a Bank of Montreal building in downtown Kelowna.
Witnesses said Beauregard exclaimed, “I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding, my arm is bleeding” after she was stabbed. The woman then replied, “This happens, you deserve it, fine” before leaving the area.
Defense statements revealed that the woman came from a broken family, had no connection to her indigenous community, had been raped and sexually abused on multiple occasions, and had struggled with a range of mental illnesses and drug and alcohol abuse.
Before the stabbing took place, witnesses described the two as drunk and engaged in a verbal argument that lasted 10 to 15 minutes.
Beauregard was hospitalized following his injury because the stab in his elbow pierced his arm artery, causing significant blood loss, shock and loss of consciousness. His arm was subsequently amputated and he had little to no brain activity before being removed from life support three days later.
The woman has completed a ten-week substance abuse program since the deed, which she pleaded guilty to in April.
READ MORE: Young woman charged with stabbing Penticton teenager pleads guilty
“I try to be a good person”
In a statement she read in court, the woman said she made a pledge to stay sober, graduated from high school, reconnected with her family, started self-employment and hoped to become a social worker in the future.
“I closed the door completely to the old me. I try to be a good person every day, ”she said.
Medical reports read by Killoran said the woman is viewed as a low risk threat to the public as long as she stays sober and avoids peers involved in substance abuse and alcoholism.
“When considering imprisonment, an important consideration would be the high likelihood of becoming a productive and pro-social adult with the current positive change and ability to actively expand and nurture their community support and skills getting in the community would be bothering, ”said Killoran.
A second day of the judgment hearing is slated for the next few weeks as Judge Gregory Koturbash said he would try the woman before she turns 20 at the end of July. As stipulated in the Juvenile Criminal Law Act, no young person is allowed to stay in a juvenile detention center if they are 20 or older, which Koturbash claims to avoid.
“People are mad at her. You are more likely to be in custody and in a detention center. She’s more likely to meet them there, ”said Killoran.
A letter from the woman to Beauregard’s parents was read in court saying she was terribly sorry and ashamed of having taken his life.
“I did the unthinkable”
“Eli was a good person. We are both caught up in a lifestyle that no child or young adult should live. I’ve done the unthinkable and I’ll live with it for the rest of my life, ”she wrote.
Beauregard’s mother, Emily Steele, read a victim’s declaration in the courtroom detailing the mental health problems she has faced since her son’s death.
“I will never feel the same again. I will never see him and his smile. I’ll never see his green eyes twinkle in the light. I will never hear him laugh for joy. I’ll never hear him say, ‘I love you mom,’ ”she said.
“This is killing me more than you ever know. This changed my life forever and it’s not for good. I hope you understand that there is nothing you can say or do that will ever change my attitude towards this situation. “
READ MORE: Family of a teenager in Kelowna stabbed to death on the verge of fulfilling Christmas wish
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