Kevin Mantla sentenced to life in prison for murder of Elvis Lafferty

A 39-year-old Gameti, N.W.T., man has been sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder and attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend and her partner in Yellowknife three years ago.

Mantla showed no remorse and still maintains his innocence, said judge as she delivered sentence

Kevin Mantla, 39, was found guilty in the murder of Elvis Lafferty by an N.W.T. Supreme Court justice in May. (Facebook)

A 39-year-old man from Gameti, N.W.T., has been sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder and attempted murder, in relation to a knife attack on his ex-girlfriend and her partner in Yellowknife three years ago.

Kevin Mantla was sentenced on Thursday afternoon to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 20 years for the murder of Elvis Lafferty. He was also sentenced to 15 years for attempted murder in connection with the attack on Lafferty's girlfriend. Both sentences are to be served concurrently.

As the sentence was read, several members of Lafferty's family rejoiced, with one person shouting, "Yes!" 

"What he did, he deserves it. Right now my son is under six feet ground. If I'm lucky, I'll see him in heaven," Lafferty's father, Archie, told CBC News outside the courthouse.

But for Lafferty's mother, Mary Jane, the sentence wasn't enough.

"Why 20 years? They should just give him 25 years and throw away the key. I'm not gonna see my 40-year-old kid again walking through my door. That's the only thing that's on my mind right now," she said.

Elvis Lafferty was remembered by his siblings as a 'good guy' and 'everything to me' in statements during Mantla's sentencing hearing last week. (Facebook)

Mantla pleaded not guilty earlier this year to first-degree murder in the September 2015 stabbing death of Lafferty. He also pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and aggravated assault for the attack on Lafferty's girlfriend, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban.

In May, Justice Louise Charbonneau found Mantla guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder and attempted murder.

During the sentencing, Charbonneau noted that Mantla still maintained his innocence for both crimes, saying that demonstrated a lack of remorse on his part. 

Mantla laughed as he was led out of the courtroom.

Elvis Lafferty was part of a large family from Behchoko. Many family members spoke at Mantla's sentencing hearing last week, explaining how Lafferty's death has impacted them.

The family of Elvis Lafferty outside the Yellowknife courtroom. (Hilary Bird/CBC News)

During Mantla's three-week trial in January, his ex-girlfriend testified he had threatened to kill both her and Lafferty the day Mantla learned of their relationship.

Mantla flew to Yellowknife later that day and attacked the couple with a knife shortly after midnight. Three children and Lafferty's parents were also in the home. Two of those children testified and identified Mantla at trial.

Charbonneau said the testimony of one of the children, who said Mantla and his ex-girlfriend had an argument before Mantla carried out his attack, made her doubt it was premeditated.

Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no eligibility of parole for at least 10 years.