UPDATE: More, Schmit plead guilty to Rob Vicente murder
In a surprising turn, the two men accused in the 2010 death of Rob Vincente pleaded guilty to second degree murder at a hearing Friday.
Darak More and Devin Schmit recieved life sentences without possibility of parole for 15 and 20 years respectively.
They shot him twice in the back of the head because they wanted to steal his car stereo.
That's the reason More and Schmit gave police when they confessed to killing Rob Vicente. The Davidson-area man went missing in late 2010. His body eventually found in a shallow grave in a field in the area.
Court heard the three men had been partying at a mutual acquaintence's home in Davidson the night of Oct 9th 2010.After a beer run, More discovered Vicente had an impressive stereo and speaker set-up in his car. He wanted to steal it.
It was almost 4:00 A.M. when More left the party, taking Vicente with him.He told the group he wanted to go buy cigarettes. Instead he drove around until Vicente fell asleep, leaving him inside the car at the Schmit family farm.
More returned to the party, telling Vicente's friend that he had been kicked out of the car and had to walk back.
He and Schmit walked back to the farm, where Schmit got a rifle from the house. They didn't want to shoot too close to the house, for fear of waking Schmit's grandmother.
They drove the car out to the farthest stand of trees on the shelterbelt, opened the door so Vicente's torso slumped out onto the ground, and shot him twice in the head.
They dragged his body into the trees before shooting him a third time in the back. After covering the body with branches they returned home and went to sleep.
They eventually buried the body in a shallow grave at that spot.
More tried to sell the car and stereo in Saskatoon, but after a run-in with the police he eventually returned to the Davidson area.
More took the stereo out of the car and set it up in his bedroom, where it would eventually be seized by RCMP officers searching the property. They then took the car to an abandoned farm, where they set it on fire.
Relaying the story to the judge, prosecutors outlined how both of the men had eventually told others about what they had done. Some of them told the RCMP. That led to their arrest on Feb 11, 2011. They confessed to the RCMP and More showed them where the body was buried.
Earlier this year the two had elected to have their trial heard by a judge and jury. On Friday they changed that decision, electing to have a judge alone hear their case. They pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second degree murder.
Throughout the proceedings Schmit, a smaller 22 year-old man with close-cropped hair wearing a black Saskatchewan Roughrider Jersey, and More, a taller 22 year-old, both kept their heads down until they were addressed by Justice J. McLellan.
They remained silent while Crown prosecutor Connie Hottinger and members of the Vicente family read victim impact statements onto the record.
"We do not want to get over Rob," read Pam Vicente, the victim's mother.
She spoke at length about how utterly devastated she and her family are by Rob's murder, saying she struggles every day to find even a little bit of enjoyment in life. Her faith has been shaken and most days seem meaningless and unbearable.
Members of the community where Rob was well-known insisted they never would have expected such a disturbing act to take place in their area, that lines have been drawn in the community because More and Schmit's family is there as well.
Defence lawyer Andrew Hitchcock represented Schmit.
Stressing that it wasn't an excuse for his actions, Hitchcock outlined a history of abuse Schmit suffered from a young age at the hand of his father. He told the court that Schmit's mother was a drug addict and that from the age of 13 on Schmit was paid for doing chores around his father's farm with drugs and alcohol.
A pre-sentence report for a previous conviction outlined how, as a 15 year old, Schmit had one of the worst cases of drug addiction his case worker had ever seen.
At the time of the killing, Hitchcock said Schmit was routinely working all day at his father's farm before driving to Saskatoon to buy and use crack-cocaine, then returning to the farm to start work again at 5:00 A.M.
He insisted, on the night of the shooting, Schmit cried for 20 minutes straight after seeing his own reflection in a mirror.
More's lawyer also made no excuses for his client's behaviour, simply insisting that the joint recommendation of a life sentence was appropriate.
In handing down his decision, Justice McLellan made it clear how he felt about the crime.
"I find it unbelievable and unfathomable that you would take the life of another human being so you could steal his stereo. Not only did you cause the death of a man in the prime of his life you caused so much heartbreak and anguish, as we've heard today, to his family and friends...I hope you paid careful attention to the unbelievable harm that you've caused."
Outside court Pam Vicente read a prepared statement, reiterating many points from her victim impact statement. But she also stressed that, in her and her family's minds, the justice system isn't going far enough to punish More and Schmit.
"We wish the lawmakers of our country would but themselves not only in the offender's shoes but the victim's shoes as well," she asserted. "Since Rob's murder we have met people who have had their loved ones murdered. The ones who have gone through the court process told us not to expect to feel a sense of justice from the justice system. We kept on holding on to hope that Rob would get the best the justice system offers. We were wrong."
She went on to say that More and Schmit, both who have prior records, shouldn't have been allowed out to commit another crime.
She added that she feels a life sentence should mean life in jail, not just the possibility that they could be released in 15 or 20 years.
But even still, Vicente hopes that something good can come from the case.
"Let it be that people honour Rob's memory by treating each other with more kindness, respect, and dignity," she said, fighting back tears while her family watched on from the steps outside Court of Queen's bench.
Rob Vicente photo released by RCMP.
Edited by CJME's Lisa Schick.