3 get prison terms for killing Regina teen

Three young men who beat a teenage boy to death in Regina last year have been sentenced to prison terms.
Delano Toto, 16, died in May 2011 after being beaten and struck on the head. Days later, at an impromptu outdoor memorial, friends left photos and flowers. (CBC )

Three young men who beat a teenage boy to death in Regina last year have been sentenced to prison terms.

The three, all in their 20s, had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the May, 2011 death of Delano Toto, 16.

On Friday, Queen's Bench Justice Ellen Gunn sentenced Bobby James Lavallee to nine years, Charleton Rope, 27, to 12 years and Terry Smoke, 23, to seven years.

Lavallee and Rope spent 548 days in custody. With that time deducted, their net sentences are 7½ years and 10½ years respectively.

Court heard that on the night of the offence, Toto and his friends — some with gang affiliations and armed with knives and fence posts — had been involved in an altercation with Lavallee and Rope, who had connections with a rival gang. 

Lavallee and Rope later got Smoke, Lavallee's cousin, and went over to the house Toto was at. Lavallee had a stick, Smoke had a hammer handle and Rope had a hammer. 

When Toto came out, the three jumped the teen, beating him and hitting him in the head with the hammer.

They left him to die on the street in front of a house in the city's North Central neighbourhood.

An autopsy showed that Toto died of the head injury, but also had multiple bruises and broken ribs and had a lot of alcohol in his system.

"The fact that these three men left this young man to die shows a remarkable lack of human decency, " Gunn said. "All three participated in a brutal attack on an unarmed, defenceless and intoxicated teenager."  

At the sentencing, family members wept. Some people cursed.

Outside court, Toto's aunt Donelda Brass Papequash noted that Toto's mother Devine died earlier this year before the men pleaded guilty.  

"When my baby sister lost her eldest son, she gave up on life," Brass Papequash said.  

The three men had originally been charged with second-degree murder, which carries a life sentence, but pleaded guilty to the less charge of manslaughter.  

The sentences are substantial, but no prison time is going to bring Delano back, Brass Papequash said.  

"They don't deserve to be called men, because men don't beat children. Especially not with weapons," she said.