De­cap­i­tated, dis­mem­bered: Anger flares over plea deal

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - LIAM CASEY

Anger has boiled over in a northern On­tario city fol­low­ing a plea deal that will al­low three men who de­cap­i­tated and dis­mem­bered a friend at a wild drug-fu­elled house party to walk free within two years.

Ron­ald Mitchell, Dy­lan Jocko and Eric Mearow pleaded guilty in Sault Ste. Marie this week to man­slaugh­ter and of­fer­ing an in­dig­nity to a hu­man body de­spite the po­lice chief’s in­sis­tence that his force brought for­ward a com­pre­hen­sive case that cul­mi­nated in first-de­gree mur­der charges.

A crowd of about 100 protesters gath­ered out­side the Sault court­house on Thurs­day fol­low­ing the court hear­ing. The vic­tim’s tear­ful mother and po­lice Chief Robert Keetch were among those out­raged by the de­vel­op­ments.

“The re­sults of this case in no way re­flect the work done by po­lice,” Keetch told me­dia as he tried to as­sure the city his force had no part in the deal in the death of Wesley Hal­lam, who was stabbed to death on Jan. 7, 2011 be­fore be­ing de­cap­i­tated and dis­mem­bered.

Keetch called on the Min­istry of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral for an in­de­pen­dent third-party re­view of the case.

“I strug­gle to make sense of the Crown’s de­ci­sion to ac­cept a plea deal,” said Hal­lam’s mother, San­dra Hal­lam.

She added: “I am hor­ri­fied that these three men will walk back into our com­mu­nity some time soon. I think the city of Sault Ste. Marie should be afraid.”

Court heard the party be­gan at Mearow’s “flop house” af­ter 5 p.m. that Fri­day.

It was a house used by many to buy and con­sume drugs. On the menu: al­co­hol, weed, pow­der and crack co­caine, heroin, Oxy­Con­tin and Fen­tanyl.

Mearow, Mitchell and their girl­friends de­cided to stay in that night and in­vited oth­ers over. The party bal­looned. Jocko ar­rived shortly af­ter 9:30 p.m.; he’d smoked crack and was in search of more.

Hal­lam, who would not live to see the morn­ing, was at a friend’s house when he got word of the party. He bor­rowed his friend’s knife, en­graved with a swastika, and showed up at the house party around 11:30 p.m.

Be­fore long, a fren­zied, fullfledged knife fight broke out.

Mitchell swung at Hal­lam at one point, stab­bing him in the side of the neck. He was soon bleed­ing out and col­lapsed.

Mearow or­dered Mitchell and Jocko to help move Hal­lam to the bath­room.

Mearow took con­trol, court heard, and or­dered the other two men to be­gin dis­mem­ber­ing Hal­lam. When knives proved in­ef­fec­tive, the men turned to an elec­tric saw. The party raged on, the sounds of the saw au­di­ble above the din.

They dis­posed of the body parts in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing in a creek and a garbage dump across the bor­der in Michi­gan.

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