The La Loche school shooter is appealing the sentencing decision in his case.
Now 20 years old, the shooter was a few weeks away from turning 18 when he killed four people and wounded seven others in a January 2016 shooting spree that began at a home near the northern Saskatchewan community’s Dene High School building, then carried into the school itself.
He pleaded guilty in October 2016 to four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.
Sentencing was delayed significantly as the shooter underwent various psychiatric assessments.
A judge ruled in February 2018 that he would be sentenced as an adult. The sentence was formally imposed at another hearing in May.
By law, a youth sentenced as an adult for first-degree murder is subject to a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 10 years.
Despite the adult sentence, a publication ban on the shooter’s name remained in place at the request defence lawyer Aaron Fox, who asked a judge to protect his client’s identity during the appeal process.
A spokesperson for Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal issued a brief statement Tuesday morning indicating the shooter’s lawyer had filed an appeal.
No hearing date has been set. The statement issued by the court suggested this fall was the earliest the appeal might be heard.
Mayor says community disappointed with appeal
La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre said the appeal means another delay for his community’s efforts to move past the tragedy.
“It’s disappointing that we have to go through this, be re-victimized,” St. Pierre said.
Still, he acknowledged the shooter was within his rights to appeal.
“I guess our justice system allows for that. It’s just a process.”