The Thunder Bay man who threw a trailer hitch from a vehicle hitting a First Nations woman—a blow that claimed her life five months later-has been sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter. Brayden Bushby, who was 18 at the time of the 2017 crime will spend the next eight years in a federal penitentiary for his part in the death of 34-year old Barbara Kentner of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway First Nation. She was walking with her sister when the vehicle Bushby was in approached them, Bushby threw a trainer hitch out of the vehicle striking Ms. Kentner in the stomach. Court was told Bushby was heard yelling, “I got one!” as he drove away. The woman was taken to hospital with a perforated intestine, and died five months after the attack.
Justice Helen Pierce handed down her sentence in a Thunder Bay Courtroom on Monday after reading from a list of legal precedents dealing with sentences handed down for similar crimes. Bushby was found guilty of the Manslaughter charge last October. The original charge was for second degree murder. In the end, she concluded that leniency was not justified.
Court was told Busby was drunk at the time of the offence and had bragged he was going out to harass “hookers.”
During a sentencing submissions hearing held in February, the Crown called for a sentence of eight to 12 years, while Bushby’s attorney’s George Joseph and Ryan Green argued for a four-year sentence.
Justice Pierce also spoke to Bushby’s pre-sentence report, which detailed he had a stable upbringing. She also referred to Bushby’s apology before the court following his guilty verdict.
Justice Pierce cited previous cases of what could be considered aggravated manslaughter where the accused were intoxicated during the time of the offence and sentences were given of between 10 and 12 years.
“I agree with the Crown’s submissions that even though drunk, Mr. Bushby demonstrated a high degree of awareness that his actions would cause harm,” she said.
Bushby was led from the court in handcuffs after being granted permission to hug family members before beginning his sentence.