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Man sentenced 18 years in shooting of RCMP officer near Onanole, Man.
A man who pleaded guilty to shooting a RCMP officer after going on a violent crime spree learned his fate in a Minnedosa, Man. courtroom.
Judge John Combs sentenced Therae Racette-Beaulieu, 19, of Sandy Bay First Nation to a total of 18 years for the attempted murder of RCMP Cpl. Graeme Kingdon and his partner as well as a break and enter and robbery which preceded the shooting near Onanole, Man. this past August.
Cpl. Kingdon was shot in the back of the head when he and his partner responded to a break and enter at a rural property near the western Manitoba community. Two additional shots were fired towards the two officers after Kingdon was hit with a shotgun blast.
Combs imposed consecutive sentences of 15 years for the attempted murder of the two officers, 1.5 years for a robbery in the R.M. of Portage la Prairie and 1.5 years for a break and enter near Onanole which involved the theft of firearms and ammunition.
Court heard Kingdon, who survived the shooting, is still dealing with significant impacts from his injuries and has been unable to resume his career as a police officer.
After the sentencing Kingdon spoke outside court expressing disappointment with the length of the sentence.
“I think it sets the bar fairly low on police officers’ lives,” said Kingdon. “For two of us to be shot at and a 15-year sentence, that’s way too low.”
“It’s completely changed my life. I’m just returning to work in a limited fashion. I don’t know when or if I’ll be able to work as a police officer again. It’ll be the rest of my life that I deal with this.”
Judge Combs called Racette-Beaulieu’s actions “disturbing and abhorrent.”
“Violence against police officers performing their duties is particularly serious,” Combs told court. “Courts must emphasize denunciation when such behaviour occurs.”
In coming to a sentence, Combs factored in aggravating factors including the violent crime spree Racette-Beaulieu went on, his prior record and lack of regret for his actions.
“He claims he was drunk and stoned and said, ‘I think I did it because I was mad at cops,’” the judge told court.
Combs considered Racette-Beaulieu’s upbringing, his age and his family’s history in the residential school system.
Court heard Racette-Beaulieu was physically abused by his father when he was young and neither of his parents could care for him.
He spent time in the care of Child and Family Services, experienced homelessness and lives with numerous social and psychological challenges.
“Mr. Racette-Beaulieu is of marginal intelligence and his general cognitive ability ranks in the bottom one per cent of our population,” Combs told court. “Although he recognizes the need to get help, the prognosis is not positive.”
“He remains, in his present state, a very dangerous individual.”
Racette-Beaulieu received a credit of nine months for time served in pre-sentence custody.