So.. what's the argument that the Defence put forward?? It annoys me how many news outlets, simply list what the Crown argues, but not the Defence! There are two (or more) sides to every story, and their side is not being heard or being given proper coverage, unfortunately, which can lead to the public's distorted perception of crime.
Two key witnesses to testify
JURORS were told Tuesday that two women will describe a killing that capped a wave of violence and prompted immediate action from Winnipeg police and politicians.
Cody Owen Bushie, 29, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the July 2007 shooting death of Aaron Nabess, 20.
Crown attorney Steve Johnson told jurors Tuesday the case is "straightforward" and will include testimony from two key witnesses who saw Bushie pull the gun from his pants moments before the deadly attack.
Bushie, Nabess and two women had been together earlier that night, socializing inside a notorious "crackhouse" at 575 Magnus Ave., court was told. The group left the home and were standing in the back lane when the shooting happened.
The Crown didn't provide any motive for the attack, but that isn't needed to secure a conviction. One of the witnesses is Nabess's former girlfriend and the other is her friend.
The Nabess killing came after two other unrelated neighbourhood shootings in a 24-hour span. An 18-year-old man was critically wounded after being shot on Magnus Avenue, just a block away from where Nabess died. A 27-year-old man escaped serious injury after being hit with gunfire hours later on Alfred Avenue.
Mayor Sam Katz and acting police chief Menno Zacharias responded to the attacks by announcing stepped-up police patrols in the area, which some residents had started calling "Homicide Heights."
Twelve extra patrol units were assigned to the area.
Appeal court halves sentence
THE Manitoba Court of Appeal has slashed a prison sentence in half for a man who robbed the same Winnipeg gas station employee three times in as many weeks.
Troy Draper, 26, learned this week he will only have to do three years behind bars, instead of the original six-year penalty he was given last year.
Justice Freda Steel said the lower court sentencing judge failed to properly consider several key issues, including Draper's addiction to crack cocaine, lack of a prior criminal record and the fact he suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
"The sentencing judge significantly underemphasized the mitigating factors and the role of rehabilitation in this case," Steel wrote in her decision.
Draper pleaded guilty to four armed robberies, including three against the same Domo gas station victim. The other hold-up was at the Royal Canadian Legion. Draper was out on bail at the time of the April and May 2008 incidents for a theft charge, court was told. He wore a mask in all four cases, and was armed with a knife during one.
Draper filed an appeal of his lengthy prison sentence, claiming it was "unfit, harsh and excessive."
The Crown argued no mistakes were made, especially given how much he traumatized the one victim who was targeted three times.
"While it is true that denunciation and deterrence are key sentencing principles in cases involving robberies, that has to be weighed against the importance of rehabilitation of first offenders," said Steel.
Draper claimed he committed the robberies to get money to feed his untreated drug habit.
As I said previously, I completely with the Court of Appeal Judge's decision in halfing this man's sentence! In my opinion, even 3 years is too harsh, but it's better than 6 years! This man has no prior criminal record, an untreated cocaine addiction and FAS, all of which are mitigating factors that can be rehabilitated. After release from prison, this man should be required to participate in drug treatment counseling and counseling/treatment for his FAS. If unemployed, he should also be counseled on how and where to find employment, so he can support himself.