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Domestic violence is an ugly beast often leading to tragic incidents. This story highlights how our justice system can let down abuse victims.
On October 8, 2015, 20-year old Selena Keeper died following an assault in Winnipeg by her former boyfriend, Ray William Everett. She had been assaulted time after time before October. In fact, she had sought a protection order in May of 2015, which had been denied.
A protection order hearing was held on the phone in Winnipeg, a recording of which is in police custody. During the 15-minute hearing, Keeper tells the justice of the peace she was beaten regularly during their two-year relationship even during her pregnancy. The recording includes her statement: “He would always kick me to the corners and try and kick my tummy.”
The recording also features the remarks made by the justice of the peace, who tells Keeper a protection order is an extraordinary remedy reserved for urgent and serious circumstances. He says the last assault was weeks before and it doesn’t appear that Keeper is in imminent danger. He then dismisses her protection order application and even double-checks with Keeper on the phone to make sure she understands it’s been dismissed.
20-year old Everett is in custody.
Killing of teen girlfriend results in second-degree murder conviction
In a similar story, a 24-year old was convicted of second-degree murder of his pregnant teen girlfriend in Kamloops, B.C. this week.
Damien Taylor and his 16-year old girlfriend, CJ Fowler, travelled to Kamloops from Terrace, B.C. so he could sell drugs. They visited a hospital because Fowler was experiencing chest pain due to drug use. During this visit Fowler found out she was pregnant.
Taylor testified at trial the couple went to a park afterwards where he blacked out, waking up to find a beaten Fowler lying next to him. Taylor had used a considerable amount of crystal meth during the week of the incident.
The punishment for second-degree murder is a life sentence. A judge will have to rule on whether Taylor will be eligible for parole during the sentencing hearing.
10 years in jail for man who beat mother to death
This story features a different type of domestic violence.
One day in late May of 2013, James Dustin Woody Myers of Regina, Sask. got into an argument with his mother. What followed was a violent physical altercation, which resulted in the mother’s death. On Tuesday, Myers was sentenced to 10 years in jail for manslaughter.
Myers was first prosecuted for second-degree murder. However, following a mistrial, the charge was resolved by way of a guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter. The Crown was in agreement because second-degree murder requires intent to kill, which wasn’t really present here.
Myers, who was 18 years old at the time, was evidently intoxicated when the incident took place. His lawyer presented some mitigating factors to the court including his difficult life going in and out of foster homes and his grade six education. Myers’ father had passed away a year before this incident.