Benjamin Nason sentenced to 15 years for murder attempt
Victim impact statements by Beth Ann Wallace and her family presented to court in Fredericton case
Benjamin Nason has been handed a 15-year sentence for attempted murder in the shooting of Beth Ann Wallace.
Nason's unprovoked attack on his former lover has had a "horrendous impact" and left Wallace's family members with feelings of "utter disgust" and shaken trust.
Those feelings came through in victim impact statements Wednesday at the sentencing hearing for Nason.
Nason, 38, of Beaver Dam, was convicted of attempted murder in a jury trial in August.
Madame Justice Judy Clendenning adjourned the case after hearing the victim impact statements, but returned to proclaim the sentence after 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Wallace, 40, suffered a single gunshot wound to her upper body outside her Fredericton home on Jan. 29.
Wallace chose not to read her victim impact statement to the court on Wednesday. Crown prosecutor Claude Hache summarized it, detailing the "horrendous" impact the shot from the .270 Browning magnum deer rifle had on Wallace's arm.
Wallace has had nine surgeries with more required. Her left hand is still not functional and the prognosis is unknown.
Wallace now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, experiences flashbacks and nightmares, is unable to work and is receiving disability benefits.
Wallace's mother Joan Wallace offered a victim impact statement to the court, stating she has "utter disgust for the unprovoked, barbaric crimes" committed on her daughter.
Joan Wallace said she hopes "Ben will have ample time to reflect upon his horrible actions against my daughter."
Niece Miranda Wallace said she trusted Nason and can't comprehend why he did it.
"Ben has shown me that you really can't trust anyone," said Miranda Wallace in her victim impact statement to the court.
Nason testified in his own defence during his trial.
The seven-man, five-woman jury heard that Nason had been drinking the night of Jan. 28 and set out that night intending to kill himself.
Nason testified he remembered going to Wallace's home, hitting her with the butt of his gun, and grabbing the telephone from her.
Nason also testified he had no memory of struggling with Wallace, chasing her out the door or shooting her.
Wallace testified that Nason told her that if he couldn't have her, no one would. She also testified that Nason said, "One of us or both of us are going to die."
In his testimony, Nason said he didn't recall those statements.
Madame Justice Judy Clendening instructed the jury that in order to find Nason guilty, they must be convinced Nason intended to kill Wallace.
The jury found Nason guilty.
After the trial, Wallace issued a written statement: "Two families are forever changed due to Ben's choices that appear to be without provocation, reason or explanation. After eight surgeries, my arm still has no function and emotional scars run deep."
The Crown recommended a sentence of 15 to 18 years for Nason's crimes. The defence did not make a sentencing recommendation.