One of two Saskatoon brothers charged in connection to a murder in the City Park neighbourhood has been sentenced after pleading guilty to a break and enter charge.
As a result of the guilty plea, the Crown stayed a charge of accessory to murder after the fact against Albert Eagle, 30. Eagle was charged alongside his younger brother, Abraham, after 29-year-old Kelly Brian Diehl was stabbed to death in an alley behind his Fourth Avenue North apartment building on Aug. 29, 2013. Abraham was convicted of second-degree murder following a trial in March.
At Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday, Justice Mona Dovell accepted a joint-submission sentence of 27.75 months minus the time Eagle has spent in custody since his arrest, leaving him 1.5 months to serve.
Court heard how Eagle and his brother had been drinking alcohol at a friend’s apartment the day of the murder. According to an agreed statement of facts, Abraham took a knife from the apartment and put it in his pants before the brothers went to Diehl’s apartment later that night.
After Diehl was stabbed and collapsed in the alley, Eagle came out the back door of the apartment. Multiple witnesses saw him walk over and touch Diehl’s body, appearing to go through his pockets, but Eagle has no recollection of doing so. Abraham then boosted Eagle into Diehl’s apartment through the second-story window.
The two men later went to a party where Abraham told people that they had murdered somebody that night. Although he was convicted of the killing, it was Eagle’s blood that was found at the crime scene.
The Crown said Eagle’s criminal record only contained one serious offence: a robbery from 2004. Defence lawyer George Combe said Eagle was 18 years old at the time and had just gotten out of the foster care system, where he had been bounced around from family to family since the age of 11.
The oldest of six kids, Eagle was separated from most of his siblings during his childhood, which Combe said was difficult for Eagle. His fondest memories are of being with his family, Combe said, adding Eagle plans to move to Calgary and rekindle his relationship with his mother after he is released from custody.
Pointing to his client, covered with tattoos on his neck and cheek, Combe described Eagle as observant, polite and articulate, with a desire to protect his family.
“I wish I could have been a better leader for my brother,” Eagle told the court, referring to Abraham. “I apologize to my brother for not being there when he needed me the most.”
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