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.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Manitoba Warriors sentenced to prison for alleged attack

Manitoba Warrior jailed for attack

TWO Manitoba Warriors gang members have pleaded guilty to their role in an attack which saw a man get beaten, stabbed and tossed out a third-floor window.
Russell Warren Disbrowe, 45, and Mervin Frankie Flett, 38, were sentenced to four years in prison Monday following a joint recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers.
The victim, Gerald Marsden, suffered extensive injuries in August 2008 including a broken arm and leg. He also has permanent scars throughout his body. Marsden admits he once belonged to the Manitoba Warriors but left the gang for a fresh start.
Marsden said trouble began after he was called to a Maryland Street apartment block by his brother, who asked him to guard some stolen property. He said he was alone inside the suite when three men burst inside carrying a crowbar, a baseball bat, a beer bottle and piece of wood.
"They told me 'You're gonna die tonight, pray to Jesus'," Marsden testified at a previous hearing. He identified Disbrowe and Fleet but didn't know who the other attacker was.
Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Colin Scrivener was also charged in the incident but was set free at a preliminary hearing earlier last year after a judge decided there was insufficient evidence against him.
Lawyers for Disbrowe and Flett told court Monday their clients admit beating Marsden but claim it was the "unidentified" third man who threw him out the window.
Crown attorney Geoff Bayly said he was forced to strike a plea bargain because Marsden was now refusing to co-operate with the justice system and has given several different versions of his story. There were also problems with other potential witnesses.
Both Disbrowe and Flett have spent approximately 18 months in custody, which was given double-time credit, leaving them with just under a year to serve.

This article implies that these two men were definitely guilty of the attack and of throwing the other man out of the window, when really, it might have been the third unidentified man, who threw him out the window, but the article only mentions this briefly. The article also does not say what charge the men pleaded guilty to! That is very relevant information that was missed. Also, it does not mention many details of the attack, the victim’s possible role in what happened, was the victim provoking the other men?, or explaining why he was now providing court with different versions of his story. The article did not explain what the other versions were and how they differed from the version they explained in the article. It also does not discuss events leading up the attack and mitigating circumstances of the men. It does discuss the offenders’ background life circumstances (poverty, immigrants, unemployment, lack of education, etc.) or addictions which may have contributed or fuelled the attack. 

Since I don’t know what charge these men pleaded guilty to or their background lives and mitigating circumstances, I cannot say for sure whether I agree or disagree with this sentence.

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