New Brunswick

Kelvin Constant deported after serving 2 years of 5-year manslaughter sentence

Kelvin Constant, a man sentenced to 5 years in prison for the multiple-stabbing death of 24-year-old Christian Grueso Salas, has been deported after serving two years of his five-year sentence for the crime.

‘Only two years? I say this is terrible,’ says mother of slain 24-year-old Christian Grueso Salas

Edith Salas (left) and Lorena Grueso, who thought their son and brother's killer would remain imprisoned for four years, were shocked to hear of his deportation after two. (Catherine Harrop/ CBC)

Kelvin Constant, a man sentenced to five years in prison for the multiple-stabbing death of 24-year-old Christian Grueso Salas, has been deported after serving two years of his five-year sentence for the crime.

"Only two years? Only two years? I say this is terrible," said Christian Grueso Salas' mother, Edith Salas. 

Fredericton Police Force and Corrections Canada confirmed the deportation, but stopped short of providing any details of when, where or with what conditions Constant was deported.

Deportation back to Antigua, his country of origin, was part of Constant's sentence handed out in the fall of 2014 after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Grueso Salas died after being repeatedly stabbed outside an apartment building on Angelview Court on Feb. 16, 2014.

Constant was sentenced to five years, less one year for time served. He was deported in February.

Christian Grueso Salas was fatally stabbed in Fredericton on Feb. 16, 2014. (Submitted)
The victim's relatives said they were reassured that Constant would serve his full sentence before being deported.

"Someone told me [at the time], sometimes they get out before the four years," said Lorena Grueso, Grueso Salas's sister.

She said that prompted her to specifically ask the Crown prosecutor if Kelvin Constant would get out early.

"'No, he has to stay in jail the four years and after that he is going to be deported,'" she says he replied.

Joao Velloso specializes in sentencing and immigration as a professor at the University of Ottawa.

He said that because, according to court documents, Constant didn't have proper immigration status, he likely went sooner than another person would.

Only two years? I say this is terrible.- Edith Salas, mother of manslaughter victim

"The general rule is that he would serve fully his sentence, but the circumstances of the case may change," said Velloso.

"The bottom line is that [Constant], didn't have a proper immigration status in Canada prior to his criminal conviction.

"CBSA [Canadian Border Services Agency] was only waiting [for] the conviction to issue a deportation order," he said.

Velloso said it's most likely Constant was transferred from a federal prison to an immigration facility, then deported to Antigua.

Edith Salas and Lorena Grueso say that not hearing about his release added insult to injury.

"They just release him out of jail and don't explain us, why they made that decision? No, it's not right," Grueso said, shaking her head.

Kelvin Colburn Constant pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Christian Grueso Salas. (CBC)
Grueso and Salas say they only heard about the deportation because of a "kind police officer" who has kept in touch with the family.

They are upset that no one officially contacted them to tell them what was happening.

They now don't know if Constant now walks free in Antigua.

The family says they didn't realize that they had to register with federal victims' services in order to be informed about any changes in Constant's incarceration — something normally recommended by the provincial and police victim services councillors.

Corrections Canada says the family can register now, but it is under no legal obligation to tell them anything about Constant because he is no longer in their jurisdiction.

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