Brent Michael Dumas, who was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the November 2021 shooting of a man in Edson, Alta., was sentenced Monday.
Dumas pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder in October. Dumas, who was 21 at the time of the robbery attempt, also entered a guilty plea on the charge of assault with a weapon.Just before 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 4, 2021, RCMP were called to a shooting at Indominus Sports on 50th Street in Edson.
Police said a man entered the store with a gun and attempted to rob the business. During the attempted robbery, the suspect fired the gun, striking an employee, according to RCMP.
The employee — identified by RCMP as 44-year-old Cordell Maclellan — was taken to hospital in critical condition where he later died.
A close friend told Global News that Maclellan had just welcomed a baby. His son was less than a month old at the time of the shooting, she said.
On Monday, Dumas was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years for the murder offense and three years for the assault offense. The sentences are to be served consecutively. Dumas was also given a life-long weapons prohibition.
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The Crown was seeking no parole before 15 and 20 years, while the defence asked for 15 years.
“What mitigated the sentence, as noted, was Mr. Dumas’ personal circumstances, his upbringing, the diagnoses he’s had, that he pled guilty and he was, he is, extremely remorseful for what he did,” defence attorney Mark Jordan said.
Dumas told court on Monday that he was “a young man filled with remorse.”
He said he hopes to be a “better person for the future,” adding he’s been addicted to meth since he was 12 and “hasn’t been able to break the cycle.”
Dumas has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, several addictions and witnessed domestic violence while living with his mother, who also had substance abuse issues, court heard.
Dumas wrote an apology letter, and has also taken significant self-improvement steps, including courses at Norquest and the boot camp program at the remand facility, according to his lawyer.
The Crown pointed out that Dumas has “a terrible record,” was out of custody for just six months before this shooting took place. He had a life-long weapons prohibition already when this crime occurred, court heard, which had been in place since November 2020.
The Crown claimed the crime was planned and deliberate, pointing to how Dumas stole a car and licence plate prior to the robbery and made a sawed-off shot gun.
The Crown called the killing a “cowardly act” and “unprovoked,” adding the victim had his arms up in the air.
The justice called it a “terrible and senseless crime.”
The victim, Maclellan, was unarmed, helpless and cooperative, court heard.
He had a 28-day-old son and two daughters.
Melissa Boudreau, his partner and the mother of his infant son told court how she learned Maclellan had died.
“I was warned prior to entering the hospital.” She said the doctor told her: “I am very sorry Cordell was shot and has died.”
Boudreau said she felt she had “to be strong for the kids” but was scared to go home because the suspect was still on the loose.
She told court she is “consumed by dread and PTSD” and has “the ultimate responsibility of raising our kids alone.”
Maclellan was an amazing father, Boudreau said.
“Many days I have contemplated if I can care for my son.
“Myself, friend and family have received a life sentence we will never recover from.”