A judge in Moose Jaw, Sask., sentenced two men in the shooting death of Tyrus Ayerst, 21, on Monday.
Rob Parker, the regional Crown prosecutor, said it’s a “significant sentence,” considering a manslaughter case of this nature usually falls within eight-to-nine years.
Thomas McNab, charged with break and enter and robbery, was sentenced to four years in prison.
Both were credited for their time in custody, meaning their sentences will be shortened by just over 10 months. Once the two are released, they will be placed on a 10-year gun ban.
The court case stems back to August 2018. Ayerst was visiting a home on Flax Road, in the northwest end of Moose Jaw, when Pelletier and McNab, armed with a shotgun and machete, entered the house and killed him.
The courtroom heard Pelletier cross-checked Ayerst with the shotgun he was carrying. Pelletier then went to strike Ayerst in the forehead with the barrel of the gun. That’s when the gun went off.
According to the Crown, Pelletier and several witnesses testified it was an accident.
The family says they weren’t able to see Ayerst after he died because his body was too disfigured.
“We weren’t able to see Tyrus because of the circumstances. We didn’t get that closure, his mother didn’t get that closure, his sisters didn’t get that closure and that’s hard for them,” his 88-year-old great grandmother Bernice Sauro said.
At a vigil the week following Ayerst’s death, his family described the young father, son and brother as affectionate and thoughtful, with a heart of gold.
“He was the greatest kid. He wouldn’t hurt anyone, and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Sauro said.