La Loche high school in La Loche, Sask. (The Canadian Press)

La Loche school shooter appeals life sentence

Young man, who cannot be named, killed four and injured seven in northern Saskatchewan

A young man who killed four people and injured seven others when he shot up a school and a home in northern Saskatchewan is appealing his adult sentence.

A judge sentenced the shooter last month to life in prison with no chance at parole for 10 years.

He was weeks away from his 18th birthday in January 2016 when he killed two teenage brothers at their home before he shot up the La Loche high school where a teacher and a teacher’s aide died.

Brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, teacher Adam Wood and teacher’s aide Marie Janvier died.

He was sentenced as an adult, but can’t be named because of his appeal.

His defence lawyer, Aaron Fox, said little about the appeal Tuesday other than that he will ask for the order directing that his client be sentenced as adult to be set aside.

“There’s really not much else I can say at this time,” Fox said. “That’s the issue: should he have been sentenced as a youth or an adult. We’re arguing that he should have been sentenced as a youth.

“That will be the issue on the appeal.”

READ MORE: ‘Get out of here!’ The story from inside the La Loche school shooting

No date has been set for the hearing. A court communications officer indicated it is unlikely to be scheduled before the Court of Appeal’s fall sittings.

During the sentencing in May, Judge Janet McIvor called the shootings “senseless” and “coldly horrific.”

“These school shootings were planned and calculated to inflict as much damage as possible,” she told court.

The shooter pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

Court heard the shooter began formulating a plan as early as September 2015. He researched different kinds of guns and the damage they could do to people.

The night before the shootings, he did an online search asking, “What does it feel like to kill someone?”

McIvor said the shootings have had a lasting impact on the northern community. Fewer teachers are willing to work there and there has been an increase in substance abuse and suicides, the judge said.

Students in the community aren’t receiving the support they need and are being revictimized, she added.

The young man told court he can’t undo what he’s done, but he would if he could.

FEELING WHOLE AGAIN: How La Loche recovered from its own tragedy

His motive for the shooting is still unclear. Fox has said his client told him: “I ask myself that every day.”

The young man had been imprisoned at a provincial correctional centre, but was to serve his sentence in a federal penitentiary

Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Trudeau announces bioregional oceans protection agreement in Prince Rupert

Agreement announced in partnership with 14 central and north coast First Nations

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Local artist Danika Naccarella commissioned to design artwork for Northern Sea Wolf

The Sea Wolf symbolizes family, loyalty and the protection of those travelling their waters.

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

Warning issued as swimmer dies, boater missing this week in B.C. waters

Coroner says statistics show a spike in drownings beginning in May and rising through August

Around 40,000 lightning strikes and over 200 new fires in B.C. in the past two days

‘We’re expecting that the worst of the lightning is now over’

PHOTO: Shark spotted near Vancouver beach

Woman snaps photo of a seal, heron and what’s believed to be a Pacific spiny dogfish

Possibly lightning-caused fire burns within metres of homes in Kamloops

Grass fire remains under control by BC Wildfire Service

A year after fire, B.C. senior and his dog thankful to be together

Terry Theroux was separated from Scruffy for 3 months after evictions, fire displaced Highland residents

After World Cup lineup photographed, England urges media to help team

Now the England camp is actually asking media: Are you with us or against us?

Man missing from Fraser Valley prompts massive police operation near Grand Forks

RCMP saying little about the case of Wilfred Kilgren of Popkum who was eventually found in Creston

UPDATED: One person killed in fiery crash near Barriere

Thursday evening crash involved three large semi-trailers and a passenger vehicle

Most Read