A former Canadian Forces soldier who was based at CFB Shilo in Manitoba has been sentenced to five years in prison for the 2010 beating death of a man in Brandon.
Jason John Ouimet pleaded guilty in April to manslaughter in the death of Duane John Lacquette, whose body was found at a Centennial Drive residence on Jan. 16, 2010.
Ouimet was originally charged with second-degree murder.
An autopsy revealed Lacquette, 21, had died of blunt-force injuries to his upper body.
Members of Lacquette's family — who referred to the deceased as "Jon-Jon" — burst into tears as Ouimet's sentence was handed down on Thursday morning.
May have been provoked
The judge overseeing the case said he was satisfied with the defence's claim that Ouimet had been provoked.
Ouimet said he had fallen asleep, after drinking and hanging out with Lacquette that night, and awoke to find Lacquette sexually assaulting him. He then choked Lacquette to death during an ensuing fight.
"Mr. Ouimet knew that Mr. Lacquette was gay — he had propositioned him earlier in the evening [and] he just said, 'No, thank you,'" defence lawyer Roberta Campbell told reporters outside court.
"This is about a reaction to an unlawful touching and unwanted touching."
But Eugene Lacquette, the slain man's uncle, said family members are hurt by claims that Lacquette may have sexually assaulted Ouimet.
"Just as the defence and Jason portrayed Jon-Jon as a rapist — so-called rapist — we portray Jason as someone that murdered our nephew," the uncle said outside court.
'Not the outcome that we wanted'
In court, the judge told family members that Lacquette was precious and had a lot of potential for a young man, but his life was taken away too soon.
Eugene Lacquette said the judge's remarks do not make things any easier for the family.
"It's not the outcome that we wanted, for sure. We're still leaving the courtroom without Jon-Jon," he said.
In a written statement submitted in court, Lacquette's father said his son carried humour and love with him.
The five-year sentence is based on an agreement between the Crown and Ouimet's lawyers.
Ouimet, who will be transferred to Kingston, Ont., to serve his sentence, was a gunner with the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and had arrived in Shilo in the fall of 2009.
Military officials have said he was never deployed in any tours of duty.