Men plead guilty to manslaughter

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Two men charged in connection with the tragic death of a young man at a High Prairie fuel station in 2015 have pleaded guilty to a lower charge.

Dakota C. Anderson, of Gift Lake, and Jesse Prestly Laboucan, of Atikameg, both pleaded guilty to manslaughter when they appeared in High Prairie provincial court Sept.10.

They were set for trial Sept. 4 in Court of Queen’s Bench for charges of second-degree murder in the death of Ryan Joseph Elleson, 20, at the Esso convenience store in High Prairie on July 29, 2015, says Andre Arseneau, chief Crown Prosecutor for the Slave Lake Crown Office.

High Prairie RCMP and EMS responded to a call about an unconscious male outside the store at 4247 – 53 Avenue and was taken to hospital where he later died.

Anderson will be sentenced in High Prairie on Nov. 22 before Laboucan is sentenced on Dec. 11.

Two separate dates were set since the lawyers for each were not able to appear in High Prairie on the same date.

The Crown was eager to set the sentences sooner rather than later, after Judge D.R. Shynkar asked if the matter could be moved to early in the new year.

“We are all concerned,” Arseneau says.

About one dozen people departed the courtroom after the matter was finished.

Both men have requested a Gladue report to consider their Indigenous heritage while Anderson has also asked for a pre-sentence report.


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