MINNEDOSA, Man. — A Manitoba man who shot at two RCMP officers and left one with severe injuries has been given an 18-year prison sentence.
Therae Racette-Beaulieu pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of attempted murder, break and enter, and robbery in connection with a string of crimes in western Manitoba last summer.
Court heard Racette-Beaulieu was 18 when he and some other men broke into residences and garages and stole items including a truck and a semi-automatic shotgun.
When police responded and forced the stolen truck off the road near Onanole, Man., the men inside fled and Racette-Beaulieu started firing.
Cpl. Graeme Kingdon was hit with pellets in the back of his head and Const. Mitch Thompson was pinned down and continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Provincial court Judge John Combs said in his sentencing decision that the shooter’s actions deserve strong condemnation.
“To state the obvious, the conduct of Mr. Racette-Beaulieu was disturbing and abhorrent,” Combs said Tuesday.
“These officers, and their families, are scarred for life.”
The shooting led to a manhunt that ended several hours later in Neepawa, Man. Four suspects were arrested. The other three accused are still before the courts.
Combs acknowledged that Racette-Beaulieu had a traumatic childhood, was abused by his father and suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a low intellectual capacity. But, the judge added, Racette-Beaulieu has also not expressed remorse for his crimes.
“He has a lack of empathy and has reluctance to accept responsibility,” Combs said.
“He remains, in his present state, a very dangerous individual.”
During his victim impact statement last month, Kingdon said his life was changed by the shooting. He has been unable to return to work and is not able to do many of his favourite activities with his wife and two daughters.
“The only reason my family is not describing my murder right now is that I fought to live, and brave police officers and paramedics saved my life,” Kingdon said at the time.
The Crown was seeking 20 years in prison while the defence asked for 16 1/2 years.
Combs ruled Racette-Beaulieu should serve 18 years, less nine months credit for the time he has spent in custody.
— by Steve Lambert in Winnipeg
The Canadian Press