NIPAWIN, Sask. — A 14-year-old boy has been sentenced to six years and eight months in custody for killing his pregnant mother in their Saskatchewan home.
The boy, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder for the 2021 death in Choiceland, a town northeast of Prince Albert.
Judge Lloyd Stang described in his sentencing decision Friday how, on Sept. 24, 2021, the boy hit his mother in the head with various objects, including an aerosol can, while she was sleeping, then strangled her with a USB cable.
After the attack, the boy, then 13, phoned his uncle, who contacted the police. When officers arrived, they found the boy standing on the driveway with blood on his clothing, where he admitted to killing his mother.
Two siblings were in the home when the attack happened.
The 37-year-old woman was nine months pregnant with her fifth child, who also died.
Stang said in his decision that the boy had wanted to live with his father and his mother wouldn't let him. Stang said that the father was convicted for a 2020 assault against the boy, who "apparently did not understand" that his father was prohibited from having any contact with him.
Stang said that this resulted in the boy having "acute anger" toward his mother. The boy "felt he had no other choice but to kill her," said a pre-sentence report cited in the decision.
Following the boy's guilty plea on Sept. 7, 2022, Stang ordered a psychological assessment. Registered psychologist Ashley Viklund reported that the boy met the criteria for conduct disorder and adjustment disorder with disturbance of conduct. Viklund also reported that the boy had "moderate risk for violent recidivism."
Stang said in his decision that the boy had brandished and/or threw a knife at his mother 10 months before her death.
The judge also said the boy showed no remorse for the killing, which could be attributed to his mental health problems and behavioural disorders.
"With time and additional maturity, he may come to be genuinely remorseful for what he has done," Stang wrote in his decision.
Crown prosecutor Wade Rogers said no credit for time already served should be deducted from the boy's sentence, which the defence disputed.
Stang gave the boy 16 months credit for time already served on what would have been a maximum eight-year sentence.
Stang included a provision that if there is sufficient concern about the boy's risk to reoffend violently, authorities can apply for him to remain in custody beyond his sentence.
In addition to his custodial sentence, the boy is prohibited from possessing firearms, weapons, ammunition or explosive substances for 15 years after completing his sentence and must provide DNA samples for forensic analysis.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2023.
— By Angela Amato in Edmonton.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly identified the town where the woman was murdered as Nipawin. In fact, the murder took place in Choiceland.