Sutherland-Kayseas guilty of 2nd-degree murder in shooting death of Dylan Phillips
The third and final co-accused in the fatal shooting of Dylan Phillips, 26, has been found guilty of second-degree murder.
On Friday, Justice Shawn Smith delivered parts of his 20-page ruling, saying Shaylin Sutherland-Kayseas’ testimony about being high on crystal meth when she accidentally shot Phillips wasn’t credible.
“Suffice it to say, her testimony was a tour de force of prevarication, equivocation, with a considerable helping of fabrication. I have no hesitation concluding that Shaylin’s commitment to the truth is, at best, episodic,” Smith stated in his decision.
However, he wasn’t convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was first-degree murder and instead found the accused guilty of second.
“The judge saw it differently. So be it,” senior Crown prosecutor Melodi Kujawa said.
The bulk of the trial and arguments in this case focused on one thing: did Shaylin Sutherland-Kayseas shoot Phillips in association or for the benefit of the Terror Squad?
The defence argued Sutherland-Kayseas’ actions on Oct. 14, 2016, were her own, completely separate from the gang. The accused didn’t climb the ranks as a result of what happened, and the gun went off when Phillips grabbed the end of the weapon surprising the accused.
Throughout the course of the trial, the Crown argued the accused, along with two others, went to Phillips’ parents’ home in the 1400-block of Avenue G North in Saskatoon to rob the victim. It was alleged Phillips was selling drugs on Terror Squad turf.
At the time, the Crown said Sutherland-Kayseas was on a “mission” for the Terror Squad to “tax” Phillips and made “council” for doing so.
Phillips bled to death in his parents’ kitchen after a bullet from the sawed-off rifle passed through his heart and lung in a robbery gone bad.
By submitting this was all done on behalf of the Terror Squad, it would elevate the shooting to first-degree murder.
“It’s not often that you get the necessary evidence to be able to prove that,” Kujawa said.
“In this case, the Crown put forward evidence that we felt did make that connection.”
The judge noted the crime met the necessary requisites for second-degree murder.
“While the Crown had little pieces and certainly there was an admission that Shaylin was member of the Terror Squad,” Sutherland-Kayseas’ lawyer Jessie Buydens said.
“There was nothing that linked this shooting to the Terror Squad itself.”
A second-degree murder conviction is a life sentence, however the range for parole eligibility is between 10 to 25 years.
“We’re waiting for a Gladue report, so I don’t know how that will affect their position but we’ll seek the minimum 10 years,” Buydens said.
The Crown said there were a number of aggravated factors in this case and no matter what the sentence, Sutherland-Kayseas will be managed by the state until she dies.
“She will have a life sentence so even if she does get out on parole, the state will be managing her all the time,” Kujawa added.
Phillips’ family declined to speak to the media outside of court but the Crown said they were prepared a verdict of second-degree murder would be possible.
Sutherland-Kayseas will now return to court on Nov. 13 for sentencing.
The two co-accused in this case both pleaded guilty to manslaughter. The young offender was expected to testify on Sutherland-Kayseas’ behalf, but after a run-in with the accused in the holding cell area he chose not to.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.