On June 18, Justice Richard Elson found Singharath, 21, guilty of second-degree murder. In addition to an automatic life sentence, Elson set Singharath’s parole ineligibility at 13 years during Friday’s sentencing hearing.
“The circumstances of this case give a whole new meaning to the word ‘senseless,’” Elson said in his decision.
“I find the lack of significant motive in this case is confounding.”
A lack of motive and the “staggering” senselessness of the crime were the primary aggravating factors in the eligibility determination, Elson said. Mitigating factors included Singharath’s young age and Indigenous background.
The gunman admitted to firing the sawed-off .22-calibre rifle that killed the 27-year-old, but the defence argued for a manslaughter conviction, saying it was unintentional.
During the trial, Kathy Cardinal, Applegate’s spouse, recalled the events of July 22, 2017. It started with a man urinating on the family’s fence near 33rd Street West and Avenue W North. Applegate and another man chased the person away, she said.
Minutes later, a black Nissan Titan truck drove into the back lane behind Applegate’s Westview duplex. Cardinal recalled three men getting out of the vehicle and approaching the yard.
Applegate, Cardinal said, wrapped a chain dog leash around his arm and held up a child’s bike in a futile attempt to defend himself.
Singharath fired the cutdown Lakefield Mossberg Mark 2, and the bullet from his weapon hit Applegate in the upper left abdomen.
Applegate died 18 days later on Aug. 10, 2017.
Court heard 25 victim impact statements, which Elson said provided “eloquent testimony of pain and immeasurable loss” from a “strong, cohesive and caring group of family and friends.”
Outside court, Applegate’s mother, Margaret Sippola, said it’s a relief for criminal proceedings to have come to an end.
“We’re a strong, close, loving (family) and yeah, he took some of that away from us, the criminal,” Sippola said.
She and Tyler’s father, James Applegate, said Singharath’s actions left a hole in their family.
“Everybody’s included, but all of a sudden it broke the chain,” he said.
Singharath has 30 days to appeal the second-degree murder conviction or the life sentence if he chooses to do so.