Relatives of a fellow inmate’s victim show leniency

“The pain you have could destroy you, but your ability to bounce back is inspiring,” Judge Julie Beauchesne of the Court of Quebec said in a quavering voice to the relatives of victim Jason Gagné.

“I’m really, really upset.”

A few minutes earlier, the sister and mother of the man who died at the age of 35 had spoken directly to the accused Lee Kisis Papatie, 22, showing great indulgence.

Mr. Papatie stabbed his fellow inmate to death during a fight on April 6, 2023. He then pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Thursday, he was back, handcuffed, in a courtroom at the Granby courthouse.

“No one blames you in my family,” said Allison Gagné, who loved her brother very much despite “a life context that separated us a lot.”

“We also had our skinned. He won’t have the chance to change course again, but you are still here. You can change your life.”

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The Granby courthouse. (Jessy Brown/The Voice of the East)

Mr. Gagné was serving a 12-year prison sentence for various offenses occurring in the Quebec region, including breaking and entering, theft, possession of weapons and kidnapping.

“Now it’s up to you to decide,” said Ms. Gagné. What are you going to do with this time? I wish you would break the cycle and do something good with your life. That would be the best gift for me.”

Mr. Papatie had been detained since June 2022 for, among other things, break and enter, mischief and drug possession.

“I don’t live well with that”

The victim’s mother, Mimi Létourneau, also displayed her magnanimity in court.

To rebuild herself, she “decided to love even more and to help”.

“Jay taught me to let go… I never believed that humans were inherently evil. For me, today’s sentence means nothing and will not ease my pain.”

“The past is gone and will not return. What do you choose to do now?”

To these words interspersed with sobs, Lee Kisis Papatie responded in the same way.

“I never wanted this to happen,” he said from the dock. I blame myself terribly. I don’t live well with that.”

Before ratifying the agreement presented by Me Émilie Baril-Côté, from the public prosecutor, and Me Kim Dingman, from the defense, to sentence the accused to seven additional years in prison accompanied by psychological monitoring, Judge Beauchesne required to address the two relatives of the victim.

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Me Émilie Baril-Côté, of the Crown. (René-Charles Quirion/Archives La Tribune)

>>>Me Kim Dingman represented Lee Kisis Papatie.>>>

Me Kim Dingman represented Lee Kisis Papatie. (Jessica Garneau/Archives La Tribune)

This is where the magistrate also sensitively expressed her compassion.

“You managed to turn this into something beautiful. You are extraordinary women. I hope Mr. Papatie gets the message.”

“It’s not always equal”

At the start of the hearing, Mr. Dingman stressed that his client had “a difficult childhood” and that he has, since his crime, “become aware”.

“He is capable of initiating the beginnings of a change in his lifestyle,” said the lawyer.

“Children do not all receive the same love,” recalled the judge who also sits on the Youth Court.

“It’s not always equal. We have children left to their own devices.”

Then, again to the accused, she added: “You have a choice to make and you can be an asset to the community. You can forgive yourself and give yourself the chance to succeed. You have to change your trajectory.”

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