Manitoba

'The world is watching': Teen's sentence for videotaped beating death of Serena McKay to be delivered in June

A teenager who helped attack a young Manitoba woman and shared the footage of her bloody death will not learn how much time she will spend behind bars until June.

McKay, 19, was killed by 2 girls on Sagkeeng First Nation in an attack recorded on a cellphone

Serena McKay, 19, was beaten to death on Sagkeeng First Nation in April 2017. (Family photo)

A teen who pleaded guilty to attacking Serena McKay and videotaped the fatal beating will not learn how much time she will spend behind bars until June.

McKay's body was found on Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba last April. Two of her peers, aged 16 and 17 at the time, were arrested shortly after in connection with her death. 

The older girl, who has turned 18 since the murder but can't be named because she was a minor when the attack occurred, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in December.

The second teen, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in January, has yet to be sentenced.

The Crown and defence jointly recommended the 18-year-old receive the maximum youth sentence of seven years, less the 1.5 years she has already served in custody.

But the Crown is recommending the teen spend four years behind bars, while the defence is asking for one year in custody, with the balance of the time served in a supervised community setting.

At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, Judge Rocky Pollack said he will reserve his decision until June 4. 

"[I'm] a little disappointed but I know that he has a lot to consider," McKay's mother, Delores Daniels, told reporters after the hearing. "Like I told him in my victim impact statement, the world is watching."

Sentence not enough: mom

McKay, whose body was found April 23, 2017, outside a home in Sagkeeng, was at a house party on April 22, along with the two teens.

Two videos, which later circulated on social media, showed McKay being attacked by the two girls while she begged for the beating to stop.
Serena McKay's mother embraces a family member outside the courthouse on Thursday. (Jill Coubrough/CBC)

Court heard the videos were filmed on the older teen's phone and she was the first person to text them to a friend.

Both of the videos were played in court for the judge and gallery during the sentencing hearing on Tuesday.

​"I think that that plays the most crucial factor in this sentencing, that those videos were out there for a long time," Daniels said. "They're still out there, somewhere on third-party sites, and I think it was important that [the judge] see them."

Earlier this week, the teen apologized to McKay's family, saying she lives every day "with this guilt and this shame."

"There are no words to describe how sorry I am," she told court.

On Thursday, Daniels said no apology or sentence will be enough. 

"First of all, I didn't hear half of what she said because she was really quiet and I was sitting on the other end of the room," she said.

"I know that she was talking to me and I did look straight at her, but to me, no amount of apology will ever satisfy me because my daughter's life was taken."

Daniels said the girl should have been sentenced as an adult.

A teen who pleaded guilty to attacking Serena McKay and videotaped the fatal beating will not learn how much time she will spend behind bars until June. 1:36

With files from The Canadian Press