Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Man shot by police sentenced to 6 more months in prison

A Winnipeg man shot by police following a domestic violence incident has been sentenced to 30 months in custody.
Matthew Prince, 25, pleaded guilty to three counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of breaching a recognizance and one count of forcible entry in connection with the February 2009 incident.
Court heard police confronted Prince on the street minutes after he attacked his girlfriend and her grandmother at their Ashburn Street home.
Armed with two knives, Prince advanced on officers, yelling “Kill me, kill me,” Crown attorney Paul Girdlestone told court.
When Prince refused police demands to drop the knives he was shot in the shoulder and groin.
Defence lawyer Mike Cook said Prince later apologized to police for his actions and said he did not blame them for shooting him.
Cook recommended Judge Ted Lismer sentence Prince to time served. Cook said Prince has already paid a heavy price for his actions and suffered a lengthy and painful recovery in jail.
“Mr. Prince lived in fear every single day that someone would poke him in the shoulder or poke him in the groin,” Cook said.
The night before he was shot, Prince spent several hours drinking and consuming cocaine with his girlfriend at her Ashburn Street home. Prince left the house about midnight following a heated argument.
Prince re-entered the home early the next morning, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and pulled his girlfriend from her bed. The woman ran to her grandmother’s bedroom for help. Prince stabbed his girlfriend once in the arm and shoved her grandmother into a wall before a male family member intervened and forced Prince out of the house.
A pre-sentence report assessed Prince as a very high risk to reoffend, due largely to his history of drug and alcohol abuse.
Girdlestone said he was willing to recommend Prince be sentenced to time served if he agreed to complete a residential treatment program for substance abuse. Prince said he would only participate in a residential treatment program if an assessment determined it was necessary.
Prince received double-time credit of 24 months for time served, leaving six months remaining on his sentence. Lismer sentenced him to an additional three years supervised probation.

A Winnipeg man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for a drunken, drug-induced rampage that ended with police shooting him twice.
Matthew Prince, 25, was struck in the arm and groin after he refused to drop two large butcher knives while walking towards two officers in February 2009. He had stabbed his girlfriend moments earlier after breaking into her home in the middle of the night.
Crown attorney Paul Girdlestone told court Friday that Prince ignored repeated demands to drop his weapons.
"As he was closing in on officers, Mr. Prince was yelling 'Kill me, kill me,' " Girdlestone said.
Defence lawyer Mike Cook said his client wasn't thinking clearly after consuming numerous beers and a large quantity of cocaine in the hours preceding the confrontation.
"It was not his intention at the end of the day to injure the police officers," Cook said. Prince offered an apology to the officers for forcing them to shoot him, court was told.
Prince's girlfriend was not seriously injured after being stabbed in the arm. The pair had been partying earlier that night, even though Prince was out on bail on an assault charge and was forbidden from contacting her.
Girdlestone said the pair began arguing while at the woman's grandmother's house. The girlfriend kicked Prince out of the home and threw his beer and clothing onto the front yard.
Prince waited several hours before returning to the Ashburn Street home around 6:30 a.m. He kicked down the door, went to his girlfriend's bedroom and began assaulting her. He also shoved her grandmother into a wall before finally being overpowered and removed from the home by her uncle.
Police arrived within minutes and found the knife-wielding Prince outside the home. Police briefly considered using a Taser but were forced to shoot when he got within a few feet of them, court was told.
Prince dropped to the ground after being shot twice and was handcuffed and rushed to hospital, where he was treated for several days. One bullet went through his arm, breaking it, while the other pierced both his upper thighs and went through his groin.
"There was a great amount of damage to him," Cook said. "Mr. Prince has gone through a pretty unique experience. There are not many people who can talk about being shot, not once but twice, and having survived."
Prince, who has a lengthy record, will spend only four months in prison after receiving double-time credit for the 13 months he has already served.

I think that 6 more months in prison is appropriate considering the amount of time this man has already served and the experience of being shot twice that he has had to endure. More importantly, in my opinion, he needs to receive help for his alcohol and drug problem and should participate in the residential treatment program, once released from prison.  

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