One of the co-accused in the December 31, 2012 assault and robbery at the Kahkewistahaw Gas & Convenience Store is in federal prison.
Francis Bellegarde, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault last week at Yorkton Provincial Court. Evidence presented during a sentencing hearing on January 16 revealed the attack on an unnamed victim was more of a slashing than a stabbing as originally reported.
The Crown alleged that on the morning of New Year’s Eve, Bellegarde, along with co-accused Bronson Gordon attacked a man at the gas bar. Gordon struggled with the man before Bellegarde pulled a kitchen knife. The victim sustained a large gash from under his nose to his mouth and to the back of his head.
In exchange for a guilty plea on the assault, the Crown stayed proceedings on the accompanying robbery charge. Gordon is yet to stand trial.
In a joint submission the Crown and defence recommended a period of incarceration of 30 months.
Darryl Bode, on behalf of the Crown, cited Bellegarde’s extensive prior criminal record including a totall of 63 convictions since 2005 including a prior assault.
Defence attorney David Bright submitted that the confrontation occurred because Bellegarde was disgruntled with the victim for dealing drugs to his young pregnant niece.
Bright said his client was in no way trying to justify his actions, but wanted to advise the Court this was the motivation behind the incident.
In his own defence, Bellegarde told Judge Ross Green he wanted to apologize to the community, the workers at Kahkewistahaw and promised to serve his sentence in the most positive way. He said he is ready to take responsibility for his actions and turn his life around because he has a young son who just turned one year old.
“I want to be part of his life,” Bellegarde said. “I want him to know me.”
The judge said given Bellegarde’s record and the seriousness of the charge, he felt the federal term was justified.
“This is by any standard, gratuitous violence,” Green said.
In addition to the two-and-a-half year prison sentence, the judge ordered Bellegarde to supply a DNA sample and issued a lifetime weapons prohibition.
Bellegarde will be eligible to apply for parole before his son reaches his second birthday.