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Winnipeg man given 18 years for killing Sask. Mountie with stolen truck

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A Winnipeg man who ran over and killed a Saskatchewan RCMP officer with a stolen truck has been sentenced to 18 years for manslaughter.

Alphonse Stanley Traverse, who plead guilty to manslaughter in the death of Const. Shelby Patton, 26, also pleaded guilty to stealing the truck that he was driving when Patton pulled him over in the town of Wolseley, Sask. in 2021.

Traverse was also given 18 months for stealing the truck.

“It’s more than what the defence asked for, it’s less than what the Crown asked for but it’s not lost on us that it is a very significant sentence for manslaughter, one of the highest that we have seen in this province,” Crown prosecutor Adam Breke told reporters outside of provincial court in Regina.

“It was never going to be a fun day or easy day but it’s a significant sentence.”

The crown had been seeking a life sentence while the defence argued for a 16 year term.

Justice Micheal Tocher said 18 years is warranted given the circumstances, the nature of the offence and the situation of the victim. Justice Tocher also maintained the sentence was in the public’s interest.

Traverse and a woman were driving to Saskatchewan from neighbouring Manitoba to play VLTs as they were closed in the couple’s home province due to pandemic restrictions at the time. When their vehicle broke down they then stole one near the community of Pipestone, Man.

Patton pulled over the suspected stolen vehicle and when he asked Traverse to get out, Traverse started the truck and attempted to drive away.

Patton jumped onto the truck’s running board and tried to grab the keys from the ignition before he fell off and was run over by one of the truck’s rear tires.

The pairs encounter lasted 18 seconds before the officer was killed based off of dash cam footage.

Patton’s family attended court on Thursday. His mother, Melanie, says it’s important to now focus on the safety of police officers who serve and protect the community.

“If we don’t have these people out there protecting us, what do we have left?” she asked. “I think that this kind of help sets the precedents for that.”

Assistant Commissioner of Saskatchewan RCMP Rhonda Blackmore has said the service is actively reviewing its principals around officer safety.

“One of our principals, what we call our tactile principals, is that police officer safety is essential to public safety,” she explained. “We are constantly reviewing areas where we can improve our public safety for our members and making sure they are as safe as possible out there.”

Traverse has been in custody for 993 days. He has credit for time already served and has 14 years left in his sentence.

He is prohibited from possessing any firearms for life and must have his profile entered into the National DNA Data Bank of Canada.

--With files from The Canadian Press.

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