Penticton and South Okanagan
Sentence handed down in assault case
Oct 3, 2013 / 4:00 pm
A man known as a chronic offender in the Oliver and Penticton area, was sentenced to two years in federal prison, followed by three years probation, in a Penticton courtroom on Thursday.
Marcus Sheena, 28, appearing by video with his lawyer, most recently plead guilty to assault charges stemming from a violent and unprovoked attack on two middle- aged men in Penticton on Sept. 17, 2011.
Judge Gregory Koturbash said on that date two men in their mid-50s were sitting outside a garage on Nelson Avenue sharing a beer, when they were approached by Sheena and a female companion.
Sheena asked for a cigarette and put it in his mouth backwards. It then fell to the ground. He tried to go into the garage and when he was told he was not allowed in, he grabbed a hammer and struck one of the men.
When he did so, the other man tried to grab him. Sheena and the man wrestled and he was stabbed in the neck. When the man who was hit with the hammer tried to assist him, he was grabbed from behind by the female, and choked so severely that he soiled himself.
Despite the serious injuries suffered by the man who was stabbed, he was able to make it to the IGA.
The police arrived, but by that time Sheena and the woman had fled the scene. Officers seized the cigarette and sent it in for DNA analysis.
Sheena was arrested Feb. 1, 2012 and has been in custody since.
Koturbash, who heard submissions from Crown Counsel John Swanson and defence lawyer Renzo Caron on Tuesday, said in making his decision he took into account both the aggravating and mitigating factors.
For aggravating, he said, Sheena has a criminal record including 48 prior convictions, which with the recent assault adds up to 50, as well as multiple convictions for breaching court orders.
As a result Sheena has spent half his life in jail with prospects for rehabilitation looking bleak.
As for the two men he assaulted in 2011, there was no provocation from either of them, all they did was give Sheena a cigarette.
"It affected them and those who heard about it," said Koturbash. "One second you are doing a good deed, the next you are stabbed or choked."
The factors in his favour, are he entered a guilty plea and more recently made some efforts to tackle his demons by talking to a psychologist.
The judge said he must also take into account the severe problems faced by aboriginal persons.
In Sheena's case, his mother died at a young age and his father abandoned him. He was introduced to drugs and alcohol early, was a victim of violence and sexual abuse and in and out of foster homes.
The judge recommended the federal prison system, so Sheena can take advantage of the Aboriginal Pathways Strategy.
During his three years of probation, he cannot have any contact with the two men he assaulted or possess alcohol or drugs.
Sheena bowed his head after hearing his sentence. At his court appearance Tuesday, he said his most recent time in custody was the longest he had ever been in jail.
It gave him a lot of time to think about building a better life for himself and his two children now in ministry care, he said.
On Tuesday, his lawyer suggested he be released with time served in the community.
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