Fatal beating mastermind sentenced to 26 months in jail
The woman who orchestrated the fatal beating of a 42-year-old Stewart Street man will serve another 318 days in jail after being sentenced Tuesday to 26 months in prison, less the time she has already served at Lindsay’s Central East Correctional Centre.
Samantha Hall, 26, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit an indictable offence causing bodily harm on Aug. 23 in relation to the death of Terry Pringle, who was found in dead in his home with blunt force trauma just before 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 26, 2016.
Six people, including two teenaged boys, were arrested three days later.
The 462 days of credit Hall received from Madam Justice Esther Rosenberg in Peterborough Ontario Court of Justice on Tuesday morning (308 days with enhanced credit of 1.5) was subtracted from the 780 day sentence.
The prison term will be followed by three years of probation, the first three months of which she must abide by a curfew to be determined by her probation officer.
Hall was also given a lifetime weapon prohibition, DNA order and two years to pay a $200 victim surcharge – or serve an additional two days in jail.
The sentence includes a no-communication order with the coaccused and members of Pringle’s family, including his mother Beverly Kingston and stepfather Ralph Kingston, who were in the body of the court Tuesday as they have been for most, if not all appearances.
The judge utilized a pre-sentence report, an investigation into Hall’s history, and reviewed victim impact statements in making her decision.
Pringle’s family, “not surprisingly,” has been devastated by the loss and the violent manner in which he was killed, Rosenberg said.
Bev Kingston called the last 11 months a “nightmare,” calling Pringles’ death “so unnecessary.”
“Since his loss I’ve been physically and emotionally ill. You do not know the heartache until you get that knock on your door early in the morning by the police to tell you your son is dead,” she wrote.
Ralph Kingston passionately described what he will miss most about the man who called him “dad” or “the old man,” the judge noted.
“I used to see Terry once or twice a week, either at my house or his, now I see him every couple of months at his grave,” he wrote.
While it was Halls idea to assault Pringle, not kill him, her level of moral culpability and blameworthiness is high, the judge said as she went through the aggravating factors in the case. “But for her, Mr. Pringle would likely be alive today.”
Her motive – to send Pringle a message, for allegedly spreading rumours about her – was another aggravating factor. “She wanted to protect her name on the street and she was to provide the assaulters cocaine for doing her dirty work.”
Her “recent and concerning” criminal record was another factor, Rosenberg said.
In 2011, Hall was was convicted of unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and failing to comply with conditions of an undertaking.
She was also convicted of assault in 2015 and two counts of failing to comply with probation and failing to comply with a recognizance in 2016. She also served 60 days in jail for a possession charge earlier this year.
In explaining mitigating factors, Rosenberg said Hall – who has a twin brother – has experienced a difficult family history that saw her placed in foster care when they were six months old, childhood trauma as a result of alleged “sexual mistreatment” and becoming pregnant at age 16.
“Life has definitely not been kind to her. She is at a crossroads,” the judge said later.
Hall has mental health issues, including being diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, as well as a learning disability.
She also has substance abuse issues, having become addicted to drugs at age 15. Hall turned to prostitution, right up until her incarceration, to support a drug habit that saw her consuming seven grams of cocaine daily, court heard.
Hall, who suffered a relapse while in custody for the Pringle matter, took the first steps to obtain counselling and rehabilitation in September. She has been approved for residential treatment that has been delayed by her sentencing, court heard.
Rosenberg “remains guarded,” however, as to whether Hall will get the help she needs, pointing out that she seems willing, but there are signs she won’t follow through.
As part of the sentence, she must complete all counselling and rehabilitation as directed by her probation officer.
Hall, who quit school in Grade 10, has also made “substantial steps” towards completing her education while she has been in jail, court heard.
The Crown sought a three year prison term and the defence two years, both less pre-trial custody, followed by probation when sentencing submissions were heard Oct. 31.
The fair-skinned Hall, with long, dark hair with blonde highlights, wore a black sweatshirt and dark track pants for the proceeding. She alternated between touching some bracelets on her left wrist and clasping her hands together as she listened to Rosenberg.
She was represented in court Tuesday by Andrea Vander-Heyden of Toronto firm Stephen Proudlove Law, while assistant Crown attorney Kelly Eberhard was the prosecutor.
Sentencing submissions were heard in the case of a co-accused, a 17-year-old boy, Tuesday afternoon. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in September.
Another youth, a 16-year-old boy who faces charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, formally re-elected to face a judge-alone trial in Peterborough Ontario Court of Justice scheduled for seven days, starting Jan. 15.
Christopher Bolton, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit assault causing bodily harm on Oct. 23 and is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 22. He was originally charged with accessory after the fact to murder and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
A preliminary hearing, which determines if there is sufficient evidence to set the matter down for trial before a Superior Court judge, is scheduled for Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, Dec. 6 and Dec. 11 to 15 for two other adult co-accused in the case.
Jordan Osborne, 25, of Aylmer St, faces charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. He also appeared in court Wednesday, after the 17-year-old, to hear Rosenberg’s ruling on the publication ban issue.
Joseph Crawford ,29, of Dalhousie St., faces charges of accessory after the fact to murder and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
NOTE: See related story on Page A3.