Pauloosie Padluq gets 6 years for killing Qummuattuq Simeonie

A Nunavut judge has sentenced Pauloosie Padluq to six years in prison for killing Qummuattuq Simeonie in Kimmirut two years ago.

Padluq stabbed victim in the heart with a knife during fight in kitchen

A Nunavut judge has sentenced Pauloosie Padluq to six years in prison for killing Qummuattuq Simeonie in Kimmirut two years ago.

Padluq was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in August 2015, after the Crown agreed he had been too drunk at the time he stabbed Simeonie in the heart to form the intent required for a murder conviction.

On Sept. 1, 2014, both of the men were at a party where alcohol and marijuana were consumed. In her sentencing decision delivered in Kimmirut on Tuesday, Justice Bonnie Tulloch described the history between the two men as "not good."

At the party, Simeonie accused Padluq of sexually abusing a female relative.

Padluq has previous convictions for sexual assault and sexual interference with a minor.

Padluq was also upset because he learned Simeonie had decided not to follow through in buying Padluq's boat.

The argument escalated to a physical fight at around 1 a.m., and another man intervened and stopped them. But by 3:30 a.m. another witness saw the two in the kitchen, punching each other.

While that witness was at the back door talking with the host about what to do, he heard someone rummaging through drawers in the kitchen. The accused admitted that was when he was selecting the knife he used to stab Simeonie. The witness heard someone fall to the floor and get back up. 

Stabbed in the heart

Padluq then left by the front door. The witness said Simeonie came toward the back door and entered the washroom nearby, turned on the light and lifted his shirt. He showed the two men a wound in his upper chest and told them Padluq had stabbed him in the chest.

The wound was 10.5 centimetres deep and had penetrated his heart.

"Only an enormous amount of effort could have caused the grave injury that eventually caused Qummuattuq's death," said Tulloch in her decision.

The men told Simeonie to go to the health centre but he instead pursued Padluq and caught up to him in the laneway behind Qaqqalik School.

A witness followed the victim and saw Padluq push him to the ground and make more stabbing motions toward him. He heard Simeonie say "Hey, you're killing me, man."

Padluq then got up, dropped the knife and walked away.

At 7 a.m. Padluq went to the health centre for treatment for superficial wounds, and told the nurse he had been beaten up by Simeonie. Around the same time, police found Simeonie's body in the alley.

Padluq was arrested and has been in custody ever since.

Guilty plea

The judge said Padluq's guilty plea was a mitigating factor in his sentencing.

"The accused has, of course, expressed remorse for what he has done."

Padluq will be credited three years for the time he has already spent in custody. His defence lawyer suggested he be sentenced to another two years less a day, so he could serve his time in Nunavut and be placed on probation on his release.

"Defence counsel says that jail has had a positive effect on him and that his success can be attributed to the fact that he is unable to consume alcohol while incarcerated," reads the decision.

However, the judge ruled the case "comes closer to near murder than near accident" and sentenced Padluq to serve another three years in a federal penitentiary.

She also ordered Padluq to pay a victim of crime surcharge of $200 within two years after his release, and instituted a lifetime firearms prohibition and a DNA order.