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, April 13, 2010

Man pleads guilty to second degree murder for deadly shooting

A Winnipeg gang member has admitted to pulling the trigger on a deadly attack that went unsolved for nearly two years.
Travis Arnold Personius, 23, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday as the Crown dropped the more serious charge of first-degree murder. Personius faces a minimum penalty of life in prison with no parole for at least 10 years. He will be sentenced later this spring.
Two co-accused remain before the courts on the first-degree charge, which indicates the killing was planned. Tyson Kane Roulette, 25, and Lance Leon Myran, 34, are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and are set to go on trial next year. Lawyers didn't say if there is a deal in place for Personius to testify against them.
Anthony Woodhouse, 29, was gunned down in September 2007 outside a Boyd Avenue home. Police began a lengthy investigation that ended in August 2009 with the arrests of the three accused, who are prominent members of the Indian Posse.
Prosecutor Carla Dewar said Monday Personius admitted to being the man who pulled the trigger. No other details were provided. Court records show all three suspects have lengthy legal histories, including convictions for assaults and weapons offences. They've been in and out of custody on a regular basis.
The police probe didn't just involve the slaying. Roulette has also been charged with attempted murder for a shooting on the 400 block of Manitoba Avenue in May 2007. A 52-year-old man was critically injured but made a full recovery. Roulette has also been charged with mischief endangering life and careless use of a firearm for a March 2008 incident in which a house on Envoy Crescent was shot at.

Good article. However, I wish it had mentioned some more details on the offender's life, such as childhood background, etc. and other factors which may have lead to this young man's gang involvement initially and other options as opposed to prison, to address possible underlying issues. 

A Winnipeg gangster has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the September 2007 shooting death of a man police say “was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Travis Personius, 26, has admitted to shooting 30-year-old Anthony Woodhouse outside a Boyd Avenue home.
Personius was one of three men arrested in the killing and originally faced a charge of first-degree murder. Additional charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and mischief endangering life were stayed by the Crown.
Justice Brian Midwinter remanded Personius in custody. A sentencing date will be set next month. The mandatory sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.
Co-accused Tyson Kane Roulette, 26, and Lance Leon Myran, 35, remain charged with first-degree murder and are expected to stand trial next year.
All three accused are allegedly members of the Indian Posse street gang. At the time of their August 2009 arrest, police said the suspects allegedly planned to kill someone else and killed Woodhouse by mistake.
“I believe (Woodhouse) was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Winnipeg police spokeswoman Const. Jacqueline Chaput said at the time. “I don’t believe (Woodhouse) was a gang member.”
Police have not openly discussed a motive in the killing.
At the time of his arrest, Personius was already serving a five-year prison sentence for an attempted armed robbery outside a Saskatoon bar in 2008.

The fact that this man, who plead guilty to murder, has a lengthy record, is a gang member, was serving a 5 year sentence for an armed robbery at the time of his arrest and has been in and out of custody numerous times, leaves me with questions. Obviously, something is clearly not working here. This is a case, where I feel that the underlying factors contributing to his criminal behaviour, are NOT being addressed. These issues are simply being "covered up" and he is continously sent to prison as a "quick fix." 

As you can see from the lengthy record he has, prison is clearly NOT a long term solution as it is not solving anything in his life.

The most common reason teens join gangs, is because they long for a need to belong. It's often due to the fact that they have been neglected by their parents, and are not shown enough love and support and so they search for it elsewhere. Gangs fulfill their need for acceptance and recognition. 

I believe that this man could benefit from counseling and/or addictions treatment and anger management courses to uncover these possible underlying factors and help to address them. If they are not addressed, he will continue to commit crimes. Sending him to prison will only strengthen his gang ties and pro criminal attitudes and behaviours and values, as gangs are extremely prevalent in prisons. I think we need a radical change in our criminal justice system, which focuses more on gang prevention aimed at teens.  I also feel that he should be given employment assistance and skill training and offer him the opportunity to upgrade his education, as these significantly reduce the rate of re-offending.

I also do NOT agree with the mandatory sentences for first and second degree murder, or any other offences for that matter. I feel that it will lead to prison overcrowding and by attempting to treat all offenders the same, it actually leads to inequality. I believe that there should be more judicial discretion, as to what a proportionate sentence in the case of each individual, would be. Judges should have the right to evaluate all mitigating and aggravating circumstances and come to a sentence which they feel is proportionate.

If I were the Judge in this case, with ultimate discretion (and NO mandatory sentencing), I would sentence this man to 3 years prison (for that the fact that he did commit murder) but also combine that with counseling, drug treatment, anger management, employment assistance and education.  


  1. What a CROCK!!!, you think 3 years is good enough? ... what do you know?...NOTHING!...you never had something this bad happen to your family, seems you've grown up with a silver spoon in your mouth with a white picket fence.

    I grew up on the streets as well, we are grouped this way, something i like to call OPPRESSION, as well as ASSIMILATION contribute to these factors.

    You may be in University but I have something more then you have, your only 18 years old, i have life experience.

  2. Actually, I know quite a bit about criminal justice, just so you know. Oppression is definitely a factor which contributes to crime, I never said it wasn't!