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Family outraged over 2-year sentence for man who killed Josh Pashe: ‘A slap in the face’

Dawson McKay pleaded guilty Friday to manslaughter in the shooting death of Josh Pashe, 26, in September 2021. Pashe's family is angry Pashe was sentenced to two years less a day, with time served.
Dawson McKay pleaded guilty Friday to manslaughter in the shooting death of Josh Pashe, 26, in September 2021. Pashe's family is angry Pashe was sentenced to two years less a day, with time served. Winnipeg Police Service

It’s a sentence the family of Josh Pashe says won’t bring them any closure, almost two years after he was killed outside a Winnipeg convenience store.

Pashe, 26, was shot and killed outside a store on Salter Street in September 2021 following an argument with a man police say he’d never met before.

That man, Dawson McKay, was sentenced to two years less a day, plus time served, after pleading guilty to manslaughter in a Winnipeg courtroom Friday.

Pashe’s mother-in-law Coleen Rajotte calls the sentence “a slap in the face.”

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“To say that we are angry, disappointed, is an understatement,” she told 680 CJOB after the sentencing Friday.

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McKay, who was 21 at the time of the shooting, was originally charged with second-degree murder.

He was captured by police in December 2021, roughly two months after a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest.

Rajotte, who was in the courtroom Friday along with her husband Wayne Faithful, said McKay’s sentence followed a deal made between his lawyers and prosecutors.

The family is angry they weren’t given advanced notice a plea deal had been made, Rajotte said.

She said that anger was multiplied Friday when McKay was asked in court if he had remorse.

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“He just stood there looking like he did not care,” she said.

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“I was a few feet away from him and could see the expression on his face.

“To be so close to the person that took our son-in-law’s life … you can’t describe it.”

Pashe, who had a daughter with Rajotte and Faithful’s daughter, had recently graduated from a carpentry program, was working full-time, and had just gotten an apartment a few blocks away from his in-laws at the time of his death, Rajotte said.

His daughter is now four years old.

Faithful said his granddaughter was too young to remember her father before he was killed.

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“We’re left with trying to keep his memory alive,” he said Friday.

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“We just have to keep going ahead in regards to making sure that she has the complete picture of who her father truly was.”

Rajotte said their daughter is “without words” over the sentencing.

Ultimately, she said the sentence laid down Friday has left the family unable to find peace.

“We are just very, very upset and disappointed in the justice system that someone who took the life of Joshua Pashe at the age of 26 years, gets two years,” she said.

“It’s just awful to know that this murderer will be out on the streets in two years.”

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