‘I didn’t intend for this to happen’: Claude Gauthier’s guilty plea to manslaughter in 2016 killing
A plea of manslaughter in court in connection to a killing in 2016. On Friday, Claude Gauthier, 27, was sentenced to seven years in a federal institution for the role he played in the death of a friend.
The Crown told court the case sadly reflects the devastating effects of crystal meth.
At the time of the killing, Gauthier was in the middle of a year-long crystal meth binge and had been up 21 days straight the night of the killing.
After senior Crown prosecutor Michael Pilon was done detailing the events from the evening of Oct. 22, 2016, the defence said it was in agreement with what happened.
Patrick Dong was taken south of Saskatoon after being accused of stealing, allegations he denied the entire way out of the city.
It was there on a quiet roadway that a beating turned deadly, after Dong was stabbed six times in the leg and bled out within 20 to 30 minutes.
Gauthier wasn’t hands on during the killing but he did help corral and corner Dong for the co-accused from inside a truck. As the victim ran outside while being chased as he begged for his life.
“I don’t think it would be fair to say completely peripheral,” Gauthier’s lawyer Kevin Hill said.
“But he certainly was a secondary character. Kind of oblivious to the danger that was happening.”
Gauthier who pleaded guilty to manslaughter told the Dong family in court that he was sorry.
“I didn’t intend for this to happen, I considered him a friend.”
Trial dates for the other two co-accused have yet to be set.
“It seems like it’s a group of people who are generally good people who get involved in crystal meth and it just destroys lives,” Pilon said outside of court.
“We’re seeing it way too often in our city.”
Dong’s family chose not to submit victim impact statements saying they saw no point and it wouldn’t bring Patrick back.
“He presents as being extremely remorseful, it’s been devastating for him personally in terms of dealing with the after-effects of thinking about it since he’s been in custody, he’s medicated as a result, constant nightmares,” Hill said.
“It’s something that lives with him on a daily basis.”
In closing, the judge said if not for crystal meth lurking in the background, Gauthier would not be in court and Dong wouldn’t have spent his last moments on earth in sheer terror.
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