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Crime

Friend of slain Winnipeg woman sings mourning song in victim impact statement

Jeanenne Chantel Fontaine died after being shot and being exposed to a fire on March 14.  Three people have been arrested in connection to the homicide.
Jeanenne Chantel Fontaine died after being shot and being exposed to a fire on March 14. Three people have been arrested in connection to the homicide. Winnipeg Police Service Handout

The best friend of a woman who was killed during a botched robbery broke into a mourning song during her victim impact statement at a sentencing hearing Wednesday in a Winnipeg courtroom.

Melissa Stevenson said Jeanenne Fontaine was like a butterfly – beautiful, small and strong.

Fontaine was shot and her home was set on fire in March 2017 when three men came to her house to collect on a drug debt her boyfriend owed.

Fontaine was the cousin of Tina Fontaine, a teenager whose body was found three years earlier in the Red River, and whose death fuelled calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

READ MORE: Jury finds 2 men guilty of manslaughter in 2017 killing of Jeanenne Fontaine

Stevenson says her friend was in tremendous pain after her cousin’s death and it affected her battle with addiction.

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A jury on Saturday found Christopher Brass guilty of manslaughter.

Another man, Jason Meilleur, was also convicted of manslaughter and is to be sentenced at a later date.

The third man, Malcolm Mitchell, pleaded guilty to the shooting last month and was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder.