7 years for bus murder

UPDATED: 1 p.m.

The brother of Caesar Rosales says his entire family has been let down by the Canadian justice system, after his brother’s killer was given a seven-year sentence Friday for the unprovoked slaying.

Ceasar Rosales, 55, was stabbed in the neck from behind by Tyler Newton on a Kelowna bus behind the Dilworth Shopping Centre on Oct. 30, 2014.

Rosales bled out on the bus, dying before paramedics could arrive.

After the attack, Newton fled the bus, threw his knife in some bushes and ran to his girlfriend’s house on Hein Road in Rutland. He was arrested at the home the following evening.

Justice Heather Holmes gave Newton a seven-year sentence for the attack, after Newton pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Wednesday.

Newton, dressed in a red prison-issued sweatshirt, kept his head down, staring at the floor for most of the proceedings, only looking up briefly when addressed by the judge.

Newton’s parents, who live in Alberta, and brother were in the courtroom Friday.

During sentencing, Holmes said Newton's sentence must be severe enough to discourage others from committing similar crimes, but she didn’t agree with the Crown that Newton’s crime was among the more “morally blame worthy” as other so-called  “near-murder” manslaughter cases.

“While Mr. Newton’s offence involved shocking violence, the violence was not prolonged or the very extreme, brutal type,” Holmes said.

Additionally, Holmes said that none of Newton’s prior 50 convictions were violent.

A psychologist’s report of Newton found that he had committed the attack on Rosales while in a state of psychosis caused by a long period of heavy drug use, including heroin use on the day of the murder.

“He had grand hallucinations and paranoid, grandiose delusions,” Holmes’ said, reading the doctor’s report during sentencing.

Holmes stressed the fact that Newton was still very much responsible for his actions while under a self-induced intoxicated state.

Darwin Rosales, Caesar’s brother, is skeptical of Newton’s psychosis, and believes his brother was targeted by Newton.

“The window of opportunity for escape is very short and could only be carried out with nerves of steel in military-like style movements, that require full mental consciousness, not by temporary mental disorder,” Darwin said after sentencing.

“He didn’t want a square settlement outside the bus … that’s how we settle things in my country. He simply wanted a far superior advantage.”

While Newton had apologized to Darwin Thursday, Darwin, who had travelled from the Philippines for his brother’s trial, wasn’t buying it.

“When the convicted killer asked for forgiveness he did not maintain eye contact to who he was asking forgiveness to,” Darwin said. “Besides, he stressed the fact that he just wanted to get his life back. My brother cannot be put back to life."

Newton has served 602 days in jail since he was arrested, but was given credit for time and a half. He was therefore given credit for 903 days served, and will serve another 4.5 years behind bars.

 ORIGINAL: 11:16 a.m.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has sentenced Tyler Jack Newton, 26, to seven years in prison for the manslaughter of a Kelowna bus passenger who was minding his own business.

The sentence was handed down in a Kelowna courtroom on Friday, just days after Newton pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 55-year-old Caesar Rosales – who was stabbed while taking the No. 8 bus home from work on Oct. 30, 2014. Rosales bled to death.

Newton had pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Due to time already served, Newton has approximately 4.5 years left to serve.

Castanet will have further details from the sentencing hearing as they become available.


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