March 26, 2019 6:21 pm
Updated: March 26, 2019 7:06 pm

‘Made us bury our brother’: sentencing hearing for man who killed fellow hunter

Austyn Adamko is charged with criminal negligence causing death, careless use of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle.

Matthew Usherwood / The Canadian Press

A sentencing hearing has been held for a Saskatchewan man who admitted to fatally shooting a fellow hunter.

A statement of facts presented in Melfort provincial court on Monday said Jordan Darchuk, who was 23 and from Prince Albert, was finishing up a hunting trip south of Weirdale in September 2017 when he was shot in the chest.

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Austyn Adamko, also 23, was hunting with a friend in the area and had mistaken Darchuk for a bull elk.

Adamko did not have a licence for the gun.

READ MORE: Man charged in hunting shooting death near Weirdale, Sask

He pleaded guilty last month to careless use and unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Several friends and family members gave victim impact statements about how they will never be the same after losing Darchuk through such negligent behaviour.

Darchuk’s sister, Whitney, said when she found out her younger brother had died, she asked herself: “Did someone actually kill my brother in such a preventable act?”

Another sister, Julie, said she will mourn for Darchuk for the rest of her life.

READ MORE: Man dead in Saskatchewan hunting incident

“You made us bury our brother,” she told Adamko. “I hate you and you destroyed my family.”

Leanne Darchuk said she lost her son just as the family was beginning to recover from her husband’s death five years earlier. Ben Darchuk was killed after being struck by a drunk driver.

“Maybe when you have a child, you’ll know what you stole from me,” she said.

Crown prosecutor Tyla Olenchuk argued for 12 to 18 months of jail time, two years of probation and a 10-year firearms ban.

READ MORE: Man dies following hunting accident in Nova Scotia: RCMP

Mark Brayford, defence co-council, noted a negligence-based offence is the least serious in the Criminal Code and asked for a sentence of nine months, served intermittently, so Adamko can stay employed.

“There are no right words,” Adamko told the family in his apology.

“Every day I’m reminded of my mistake,” he said. “This all fails in comparison to what you have to deal with. It’s my fault and no one else’s ? I am truly sorry.”

Adamko is to be sentenced April 29 in Melfort provincial court.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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