Judge weigh­ing Gladue fac­tors be­fore rob­bery sen­tenc­ing

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - CITY + REGION - HEATHER POLISCHUK hpolis­chuk@post­media.com

REGINA It’s true a 19-year-old man armed him­self with a bladed weapon and em­barked on a rob­bery spree that fright­ened em­ploy­ees of five Regina busi­nesses.

It’s also true the man is young, has a rel­a­tively mi­nor crim­i­nal record and is an Indige­nous per­son with a range of what are known as Gladue fac­tors.

A Regina pro­vin­cial court judge is now weigh­ing those two sides as she tries to de­cide how best to sen­tence Kee­gan Machiskinic.

Ear­lier this week, Crown and de­fence coun­sel ap­proached Judge Mary­lynne Beaton with a joint rec­om­men­da­tion on sen­tence, sug­gest­ing a term of 4½ years, or three years, three months af­ter re­mand credit. But Beaton ex­pressed some reser­va­tions and sought fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the case, ref­er­enc­ing Machiskinic’s age, record and back­ground — par­tic­u­larly Gladue fac­tors re­lated to his his­tory as an Indige­nous per­son.

It’s rare judges depart from a joint sub­mis­sion, and Beaton made it clear she might end up im­pos­ing the sen­tence as re­quested.

“But I need to be able to sleep at night and make sure it’s the ap­pro­pri­ate sen­tence,” she said.

She re­quested an ad­di­tional re­port on Machiskinic to look into his back­ground, and the case was set over to Dec. 21 to al­low time for that to be com­pleted.

Court heard Machiskinic, ac­com­pa­nied by an­other male on each oc­ca­sion, held up five busi­nesses be­tween Dec. 30, 2017, and Jan. 11. Fu­elled by drugs and al­co­hol, the males walked into con­ve­nience stores and dough­nut shops, hav­ing armed them­selves with knives and, in many cases, a ma­chete. While his ac­com­plices were masked, Machiskinic went in with his face ex­posed and touched sur­faces with­out gloves.

Usu­ally, the rob­bers made off with cig­a­rettes and a rel­a­tively small amount of cash, although on one oc­ca­sion, they came away empty-handed. The spree came to an end early on Jan. 11, when po­lice spot­ted a Ford Ranger match­ing the de­scrip­tion of a get­away ve­hi­cle. A tire-de­fla­tion de­vice was used to stop the truck.

Machiskinic fled, but was quickly ar­rested, and a zip gun (a term for a home­made gun) was found in his waist­band, court heard.

Two other males — one adult and one youth — were also charged. It wasn’t clear what hap­pened with the youth’s charges, but the adult re­mains be­fore the court.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Derek David­son ac­knowl­edged 4½ years is a se­ri­ous sen­tence, but he ar­gued it’s mer­ited based on the num­ber of rob­beries, the num­ber of vic­tims af­fected, the pres­ence of a weapon and the fact em­ploy­ees of th­ese sorts of busi­nesses are con­sid­ered vul­ner­a­ble. Point­ing to case law, he added the sug­gested sen­tence is ac­tu­ally at the lower end of the usual four- to six-year range.

De­fence lawyer Adam Frit­zler said his client was born to a mother with ad­dic­tions is­sues and a fa­ther who was in and out of cus­tody.

Machiskinic told Beaton he wasn’t raised to see right from wrong, but that he wants to “do bet­ter.”

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