It was a full house at the Penticton Provincial Courthouse Tuesday as sentencing got underway for accused murderer Dustin Paul.
Paul was found guilty in September of 2006 for the murders of Quincey Paul, Damien Endreney and Robin Baptiste on October 30, 2004 at a bush party on Penticton Indian band land.
Crown Counsel, John Swanson, is seeking a life term for Paul with a possibility of parole eligibility after 15-20 years.
Defence lawyer Chris Johnson is asking for parole eligibility after 12-15 years. Sentencing had been delayed twice as defence council had asked for more time to investigate.
Family members of Paul’s three victims chocked back tears as victim impact statements were read for Justice Duncan Shaw.
Stepmother of Robin Baptise, Laurie Wilson, read her statement recalling the sheer terror of the days following Baptiste’s death.
“I saw a light go out of my husband that day when he learned his son was dead. Every day that goes by we feel a sense of wrongness, that someone should be with us who isn’t,” says Wilson.
The common-law wife of Quincey Paul, Alley Butler, says the days after his death are a blur.
“The days after are fuzzy, I remember tying my daughter’s shoes. Even though people were all around me, I have never felt so alone. I barely remember when my son started to crawl because it happened a month after Quincey died. Dustin has taken so much from my family and I don’t know how I will answer my children’s questions when they ask how their father died,” says Butler.
Paul himself stood at the witness stand to address the court. For some family members, it was their first chance to hear from him since the killings.
“There is nothing I can really say to the families, nothing at all, except I’m sorry. I’m sorry to the daughters and sons who are left. I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused, I’m so sorry to everyone. That’s all I have to say,” says Paul.
Sentencing continues Tuesday afternoon.
Dustin Paul Sentencing
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