Dylan Dingwell was sentenced Friday to 5 1/2 years, less 17 months for time served, for manslaughter in the shooting death of his brother in January 2011.
Before passing sentence, the judge had a chance to hear from Dingwell. He stood before the court and said everyday he lives with unbearable pain and regret for shooting and killing his older brother, Kyle.
P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice John Mitchell said he believes Dingwell is remorseful but still needs to pay for his crime.
Mitchell said he hopes his sentence sends a strong message to people involved in the drug trade and who carry illegal weapons.
He said it was those two factors which lead to this tragedy, with both brothers using drugs and Dylan Dingwell owning a gun.
Mitchell said in deciding the sentence, he considered Dingwell’s behaviour while in custody.
According to official reports referred to in court, Dingwell behaved rudely and aggressively toward a doctor and nurses at the provincial jail last April. The court heard, the doctor refused to see Dingwell again.
However Dingwell has participated in counselling and anger management programs and should be commended for his progress, Mitchell said.
The sentence falls somewhere in between what the crown and defence had requested. Both sides said they are pleased with the result.
Dingwell’s lawyer Joel Pink told CBC news, "My client, together with his family, was well prepared to expect a sentence in the range that Justice Mitchell gave this afternoon."
Before wrapping up proceedings, Mitchell said he hoped Dingwell takes this time in custody to become a better person.
According to the defence Dingwell is planning on getting his life in order.
The court heard, that when he gets out of prison, Dingwell plans to go back to school and get a steady job, as well as spend more time with his family and his young son. He said he wants to try to leave this tragedy behind him.
Dingwell never denied shooting his older brother, Kyle Dingwell, on Jan. 17, 2011 but said it was in self-defence.
Justice Mitchell ruled out his self-defence claim because there was no evidence the younger Dingwell was afraid of being killed at the moment he shot his brother.
Initially Dingwall was charged with second degree murder, but Mitchell found him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
At trial, Pink argued Kyle was a violent drug abuser and on the morning of the shooting was agitated, argumentative and out of control.