Nova Scotia

Harley Lawrence's killers have lengthy criminal pasts

Kyle Fredericks and Daniel Surette, the two men who killed Harley Lawrence, are no strangers to law enforcement.

Kyle Fredericks and Daniel Surette pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder

Kyle Fredericks and Daniel Surette pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the death of Harley Lawrence. (Facebook)

Kyle Fredericks and Daniel Surette, the two men who killed Harley Lawrence, are no strangers to law enforcement.

The pair pleaded guilty on Monday to second-degree murder. On Oct. 23, 2013, they poured gasoline on Lawrence, who was in a Berwick bus shelter, and lit the homeless man on fire.

Fredericks’ previous brush with the law is probably the best-known; he was charged with criminal negligence causing death in the case of Joshua Graves.

Graves died at a house party in Berwick in March 2011. Police originally ruled the death an accident. It was only after relentless lobbying by Graves’ sister, Amy, that police apologized to the family, reopened their investigation and charged Fredericks.

He was ultimately acquitted of criminal negligence and a charge of trafficking in a controlled substance, hydromorphone.

Fredericks fled from police while facing charges in Graves’ death. He was convicted of escaping lawful custody and sentenced to time served.

While Fredericks had a higher profile prior to the Harley Lawrence case, Daniel Surette has a longer criminal history. It includes two convictions for theft and break and enter from 2007 and 2008. He has convictions for causing a disturbance and breaching conditions from the same period.

Surette pleaded guilty to assaulting his mother, Becky, on New Year’s Day, 2011. He received a suspended sentence for that.

He also has a theft conviction from 2012.

As a condition of his release on some of the previous convictions, Surette was under orders to live with his mother at the time Harley Lawrence was killed.

He has numerous charges for breaching release conditions, which included an overnight curfew.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Blair Rhodes

Reporter

Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 35 years, the last 27 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at blair.rhodes@cbc.ca

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