Two plead guilty in double murder on Standing Buffalo First Nation
Published Monday, November 3, 2014 1:59PM CST Last Updated Tuesday, November 4, 2014 10:45AM CST
Two people have been given life sentences after admitting their role in the brutal slaying of a couple on the Standing Buffalo First Nation.
Brittany Bear pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 27-year-old Jessica Redman and 28-year-old Sheldon Yuzicappi.
Her cousin, Kody Bear, was also accused of first-degree murder in the case, but entered guilty pleas to second-degree murder charges at Court of Queen's Bench in Regina.
Justice Catherine Dawson accepted a joint submission of life sentences for both accused, with no eligibility of parole for 25 years for Brittany Bear and 18 years for Kody Bear.
“Both victims were innocent, vulnerable and defenceless,” Dawson said. “Not only have these senseless killing affected their immediate family, but the entire Standing Buffalo community.”
The court heard the two accused and a teenaged boy broke into the home of Redman and Yuzicappi in the early morning hours of Oct. 11, 2012.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Brittany Bear stabbed Redman 36 times in the bathroom of the home.
While Redman was being attacked, Kody Bear and the youth repeatedly stabbed Yuzicappi in the living room.
Brittany Bear then beat the two victims over the head with the toilet tank lid from the bathroom before the trio fled.
Senior Crown prosecutor Kelly Kaip said the murders were planned and directed by Brittany Bear, who apparently had some sort of grudge against the two victims.
Brittany Bear knew both victims, and had been drinking at their house with a few other people earlier that night.
In text messages recovered by police, Brittany Bear told Kody Bear she wanted to kill Redman, and she asked Kody to “handle” Sheldon.
“Sheldon and Jess are being bitches, let’s do them in,” Brittany Bear said in one text to Kody Bear while she was at the couple’s home.
Family and friends of Redman described the mother of three as a “beautiful and vivacious” who enjoyed sports, beadwork and powwow dancing.
“You took away our daughter,” Redman’s mother, Jean, said in a victim impact statement read in court. “Her children cry for their mother.”
Yuzicappi’s friends and family said he was a humourous, generous and hard-working father who liked hunting fishing and snowmobiling.
“He was a kind-hearted person and was always willing to help the family out,” Yuzicappi’s mother, Marjorie, said in her victim impact statement. “He will always be in our hearts and never forgotten.
The Crown is seeking an adult life sentence for the youth accused in the case, who was 17 at the time, after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges in August. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 24.