Jordan Thomas Lumberjack is escorted from court after receiving his sentence. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski
Friday morning was an emotional end to a convicted Kinistin-Saulteaux area murderer’s time in court, as he received a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 12 years.
Justice Rothery announced her sentencing decision for Jordan Thomas Lumberjack, guilty of the second-degree murder of fellow band member Lance Severight, in Melfort Court of Queen’s Bench.
In fall of 2013, Lumberjack stabbed and killed Severight after the two men had been drinking at a home on the reserve.
Severight’s family – including his mother Brenda Kaiswatum – cried outside the courtroom afterwards.
His mother sobbed, saying “it’s not fair” and that she will never be able to accept what Lumberjack did.
In fact, he had only been out of custody for a few months before the drunken fight with Severight. In both the 2005 case and the 2013 case, Lumberjack was drunk and used a knife to kill.
Crown prosecutor Tyla Olenchuk had argued for Lumberjack to only be able to apply for parole after serving 16 to 20 years. In her sentencing submissions, she listed many aggravating circumstances for the judge to consider.
“The fact that Mr. Lumberjack, at a very young age, has now caused the death of two people, was from the Crown’s perspective substantially aggravating,” Olenchuk said.
She expressed gratitude that Severight’s family gave victim impact statements.
“The family was very present and involved in the process, which, of course is very important because Lance Severight can’t have a voice in this,” she said.
This October, Lumberjack was found guilty of second-degree murder by a 12-person jury. Kaswaitum in particular was emotional throughout the court process, which included a trial that went into graphic detail about the victim’s death.
Olenchuk extended her sympathies.
“This is a tragedy for Lance Severight’s family and for the Kinistin First Nation. We hope that with this closure of the court process that there’s a measure of peace that comes to the family as they move forward with their healing process,” she said.
Olenchuk says it’s too soon to say if the Crown will review this case further.