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Three men sentenced to life for first-degree murder in death of Shawn Douglas
Joshua Wilson, Johnathon Peepeetch, and Dennis Thompson are accused of killing Shawn Douglas.
Published Friday, June 30, 2017 8:16AM CST
Last Updated Friday, June 30, 2017 1:53PM CST
Three men have been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years after a jury found them guilty of first-degree murder in the beating death of Shawn Douglas.
After 67 hours of deliberating, the jury returned Friday morning with guilty verdicts for Joshua Wilson, Johnathon Peepeetch and Dennis Thompson.
Douglas' family wept and held each other as the verdict was read. The family also exchanged hugs with Crown prosecutors as the three convicted killers were led away in silence.
The jury of six men and six women heard Douglas was at a house party that turned violent. Jurors heard Douglas was later told to withdraw cash from an ATM before he was forced into the trunk of a vehicle and driven outside the city by a group of nine people, including the three accused.
Witnesses testified that Douglas was badly beaten with weapons, including a crowbars and a sledgehammer. His body was found in a wooded area northeast of Regina in August 2014. The cause of death was ruled blunt force trauma to the head.
Victim impact statements were read in court during the sentencing for the three men Friday afternoon.
Douglas' brother-in-law Bruce said, "I wake at night to think of the horror he endured."
He said Douglas' wife sold her house out of fear over her husband's death.
Douglas' sister Janis said he brother trusted too much. She said her family will never trust again, and she now lives in fear.
Gwen, Douglas' sister-in-law, said she has not slept since his death. She said images shown in court during the trial have scarred her.
Douglas' neice, Tracy, described him as a fun-loving and caring uncle. She said the guilty verdicts were the best possible outcome.
Michael, Douglas' nephew, called the actions of the three men who killed his uncle "vicious." He said he will never forgive them.
Douglas' niece, Britton said her uncle was like a second father to her. She said she will never forget the moment she heard of Douglas' death, which she says has created rifts in the family because of the pain it caused everyone. She added that his death took a piece of kindness out of each of her family members. She told the court she no longer feels safe alone and cannot run errands by herself.
The victim's sister, Rita, said the pain of her brother's death made her question if she could carry on. She, too, fears being alone.
Kim, Douglas' wife, said her husband was taken in a violent way, and she will never get it out of her mind.
Addressing the court, Peepeetch said he wants the family to know he's remorseful. He asked for their forgiveness for his role in Douglas' death, but said he's innocent of murder. Wilson and Thompson both declined to address the court.
Outside court, senior Crown prosecutor James Fitz-Gerald expressed his satisfaction with the jury's verdict.
“We had a view of the evidence and a view of what we thought the result should be” “I’m gratified that the jury, evidently, saw the same thing.”
Douglas' brother-in-law, Bruce, also spoke to media about the sentence outside court.
“Although the law has dealt its justice in this case, we do not believe it serves equal and fair punishment for the horrific and the brutal death that Shawn endured," he said.
“A quiet and a gentle, caring person was taken from us for nothing more than a few hundred dollars. And let this be a reminder that, until we reduce drug and crime activity throughout the province, we will continue to see more innocent victims such as Shawn.”