Man gets seven years for role in beating death
As he lay dying alone on a dark country road, Patrick Dong must have spent his final moments in “sheer terror,” a Saskatoon Queen’s Bench judge observed.
Justice Gerald Allbright had just heard that Dong, 37, was dragged into a truck and driven five kilometres southwest of Saskatoon, crying and pleading with his captors the entire way.
Their intention was to beat Dong and leave him on the city’s outskirts, according to the Crown’s facts. Instead, he was hit on the head with a metal object, stabbed six times in the leg and bled to death.
On Friday, court heard the brutality was over a meth-induced belief that Dong stole property from people he had been using drugs with — something Dong denied throughout his abduction and assault.
Three people were charged with first-degree murder. One of them, 27-year-old Claude Louis Gauthier, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his role in Dong’s death. His charges of kidnapping and unlawful confinement were stayed.
Gauthier admitted driving Dong out to the RM of Corman Park and sitting inside his vehicle during the assault. When Dong tried to run away, Gauthier trapped him with his truck.
Someone stumbled upon Dong ’s body the next day on Oct. 23, 2016. He was surrounded by tire tracks and footprints, prosecutor Michael Pilon said.
Police charged Gauthier in June 2017 after conducting several interviews and matching the tire tracks to Gauthier’s tires.
Allbright sentenced Gauthier to seven years in prison, accepting a joint submission from the Crown and defence.
Gauthier was ordered to have no contact with his two co-accused, who have elected Queen’s Bench trials.
Defence lawyer Kevin Hill said his client didn’t realize the extent of what was happening to Dong because he was on a “yearlong meth binge” and hadn’t slept for 21 days, causing a psychosis that clouded his perspective on reality.
Hill said since his arrest, Gauthier has thought about his role in killing Dong — someone he considered a friend — almost every day.
“I didn’t intend for any of this to happen,” Gauthier told Dong ’s family, who were in court.
Pilon said the family saw no point in submitting victim impact statements because it wouldn’t bring Dong back.
Before outlining the case’s disturbing details, Pilon said this crime is yet another example of the devastating effects of crystal meth.
Allbright agreed this crime wouldn’t have happened without the “dark cloud” of meth.
“It’s a different paradigm as to what is reality, what’s fair and what’s logical,” Allbright said.
It’s a different paradigm as to what is reality, what’s fair and what’s logical. JUSTICE GERALD ALLBRIGHT