Pamela Pike sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for 2013 killing of Jason Skinner
Pike, 35, convicted of manslaughter on Wednesday
Pamela Pike, who stabbed Jason Skinner to death in 2013 and was convicted of manslaughter, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.
With time served, Pike will spend more than five years behind bars.
I apologize too if I'm late for a dinner party, but there's no apology acceptable for taking someone's life.- Carmel Giles
The punishment was handed down by Justice Donald Burrage on Thursday at Supreme Court in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Burrage accepted a joint submission from lawyers for Pike's defence and Crown attorneys who recommended that sentence.
Pike pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was convicted of the charge Wednesday morning, after court heard an agreed statement of facts from the lawyers.
According to the statement, the 35-year-old woman stabbed Skinner with a large kitchen knife during a fight between herself, Skinner and Wanda Ash, who in February was found guilty of manslaughter.
A police officer found Skinner laying on his bed on Sunday, April 14, 2013, with a knife still protruding from his chest. The officer followed a trail of blood in the apartment into the bedroom.
"Not fair," says Carmel Giles after the woman who killed her nephew Jason Skinner is sentenced. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CBCnl?src=hash">#CBCnl</a> <a href="https://t.co/IYx825WGTl">https://t.co/IYx825WGTl</a> <a href="https://t.co/VQn9XTynsC">pic.twitter.com/VQn9XTynsC</a>—@GarrettBarry
In delivering his sentence, Burrage said Pike was unlikely to repeat the violent behaviour which led to Skinner being stabbed in his own home and dying in hospital.
According to court documents, the fight was set off by a botched robbery attempt, where Pike and Ash attempted to steal drugs from Skinner after a night of taking opioids and ritalin.
Not fair, says family
Just moments after the verdict was delivered, and Pike was led out of the court in handcuffs, Jason Skinner's aunt Carmel Giles called the sentence "not fair."
Giles said the Crown should have pursued more jail time.
"There's no apology acceptable," said Giles, as she describes Skinner's family's struggle "just to stay afloat" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CBCnl?src=hash">#CBCnl</a> <a href="https://t.co/sSSxldYcGy">pic.twitter.com/sSSxldYcGy</a>—@GarrettBarry
"If they're going to reduce the charge, like they reduced it, they should have at least got the maximum under the charge of manslaughter," she told reporters.
While Pike apologized to Skinner's family on Wednesday morning during court proceedings, and Burrage said he considered the apology to be genuine, Giles said no apology is enough.
"I apologize too if I'm late for a dinner party, but there's no apology acceptable for taking someone's life," she said.
"She might think about it, but she haven't got that deep, deep hurt in her chest that you got a job to swallow, you got a job to breathe. You don't know how you gets through the next day, you cling on to every piece of wreckage just to stay afloat."
Competing interests: Crown
Skinner's family has also been critical of the Crown's decision to accept a plea agreement in the case, and to avoid a trial.
Crown attorney Lori St. Croix said Thursday there are always risks to going to trial, and she felt the sentencing proposal put forward was fair.
Crown counsel defends the plea agreement. Skinner's family has said the justice system has failed them. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CBCnl?src=hash">#CBCnl</a> <a href="https://t.co/1ELjPs8Ive">pic.twitter.com/1ELjPs8Ive</a>—@GarrettBarry
"A guilty plea guarantees a result," she said. "We respect the family's feelings … but it's our job to look at the law and the facts and the evidence that we have to deal with and to make a decision on that."
"There's a lot of parties involved in a criminal prosecution, and sometimes their wishes … or what they want to see happen does conflict with other parties who are also involved. And the court has to balance all of those interests."
St. Croix said Burrage's pre-trial decision to exclude a statement Pike made to police also impacted the plea agreement.
Follow the developments from court in our live blog.