Thursday, 28 June 2012 14:56

Two men sentenced for death of Swift Current resident Featured

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Two young men have been sentenced for the death of a 44-year-old Swift Current resident two years ago.



John Donovan Park (21) of Swift Current and Raymond Lynn Davis (24) of Medicine Hat pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter during a sentencing hearing at the Court of Queen's Bench in Swift Current on June 28.

Judge T.J. Keene sentenced both men to seven years in prison less credit for time already served. Park spent two months in custody after his arrest and Davis has been in remand for 26 months.

“Taking of a life is the most serious offence that we have under the Criminal Code,” Judge Keene said during the sentencing. “The victim, Roland Arthur Ruest, died at your hands. He, unlike you, has no chance to build a better life and to take steps to get back on track.”

Family members of the victim and the two accused were in court during the presentation of the joint submission by Regional Crown Prosecutor Glen Herman and defence attorneys Robert Hale and Ronald Piche.

“This incident was a terrible tragedy,” Herman said at the start of his submission.

The case resulted from the actions of the two accused during the early morning hours of April 6, 2010, when they entered Ruest's residence through an unsecured back door to rob him.

Both men had consumed alcohol and used crack cocaine in the hours before the incident. According to the Crown it was Davis' idea to carry out the robbery and he had to wake up and persuade a reluctant Park to join him.

Inside the house, Park grabbed Ruest from behind and held him while Davis searched the premises for drugs and money. According to the Crown, Davis struck Ruest a number of times before they left the house after about 15 minutes.

They did not realized that Ruest died as a result of the stranglehold on his neck, a fact that resulted in the Crown's decision to charge them with manslaughter. The Crown highlighted the results of the pathologist's findings during the sentencing hearing, which basically indicated he died from manual strangulation.

Judge Keene expressed his sympathy to the family of the victim and highlighted the influence of drug and alcohol abuse in this case.

“This is yet another sad example of the destruction that drugs and alcohol bring to our society on a daily basis,” he said.



Read 16658 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 07:34
Matthew Liebenberg


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