A standoff, a horrifying killing in a city hotel room and a Mennonite community shaken by allegations of abuse.
They’re on the list of some of the biggest local court and crime stories for 2013:
• Biker’s death "non-criminal" — Police rule out foul play in the death of a high-ranking outlaw biker who was found dead in a cell at the Brandon jail.
Jean Paul Beaumont, 39, a member of the Rock Machine motorcycle gang, was found dead in a cell in Unit C of the Brandon Correctional Centre on Oct. 14, 2012.
Brandon police initially treated Beaumont’s death as "suspicious" and the case was referred to the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy. The Brandon Police Service, RCMP Serious Crimes Unit and jail staff also investigated.
On Feb. 6, Brandon police announced that they had finished their investigation and concluded the death to be "non-criminal" with no charges to be laid.
Police, Manitoba Justice officials and the medical examiner wouldn’t release a cause of death.
However, details may still come to light as the matter will be the subject of a mandatory inquest. No date for the inquest has been set.
•Rapid City standoff — In February, a mentally ill Rapid City man triggered a 12-hour police standoff when he assaulted his wife with a metal detector.
On the evening of Feb. 21, Grant Andrew Lapierre struck his wife with the device during a domestic dispute at their home.
The woman fled the house, but Lapierre blasted a bathroom mirror with a shotgun in an effort to rid himself of spirits that he believed possessed him.
Police surrounded the house and peacefully arrested Lapierre about 12 hours after the ordeal began.
In December, Lapierre was found not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder at the time of the offence. A psychiatrist determined that he was in the midst of a psychotic episode that was likely the result of schizophrenia.
• Teen slain — A teen who took another’s life was in a psychotic state when he sank a knife into the victim’s chest.
Terrance Leroy Mink, 18, was stabbed in the chest with a filleting knife by a 16-year-old boy in a Louise Avenue apartment in the early morning of March 11.
Police found Mink lying unconscious on the floor of the kitchen with a wound to his chest. He was pronounced dead at hospital a short time later. His killer was seated in a chair in the apartment when police arrived.
The two teens didn’t know each other prior to the stabbing.
The stabber was visiting his aunt’s apartment, where Mink happened to end up after storming out of his father’s home days before.
The killer had been acting bizarrely and having hallucinations and delusions for days before the killing.
A psychiatrist later concluded that the teen was in a psychotic state at the time of the stabbing, but the cause of that psychosis remains unclear.
The teen was charged with second-degree murder, but in August, a judge found him not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.
He was handed to the Criminal Code Review Board for disposition and remained in custody as he awaited its decision.
• Hotel homicide — April brought tragedy when a man killed his own beloved father.
Dana Allison Craig killed his dad, Terry Craig, at the Motel 6 on the evening of April 10.
Father and son were both from New Brunswick but Dana had travelled to Edmonton to stay with friends and seek work.
While in Alberta, 26-year-old Dana, who had a history of mental illness and would later be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, had begun to have a mental breakdown.
His 63-year-old father had travelled to Alberta and was driving his son home to New Brunswick where his parents intended to get him help.
Terry and Dana stopped at the Motel 6 in Brandon where Dana, in the midst of a psychotic episode, killed his father in one of the rooms.
Dana was under the delusion that his father had given him a mission to kill him in order to save the world.
After choking him to death, Dana repeatedly stabbed his father in the neck to end his suffering as quickly as possible.
Dana was initially charged with second-degree murder, but on Oct. 2 a judge declared him not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder. He was referred to the Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board for disposition.
• Mennonites charged, children apprehended — Child and Family Services apprehends all of the children from their Manitoba Old Order Mennonite community over allegations of physical abuse.
Fifteen adults from the community are charged with such offences as assault and assault with a weapon.
It’s alleged that straps, whips and cattle prods were used on a number of community children and that they were also deprived of food and sleep.
All of the "horse and buggy" community’s children, about 40, were removed by CFS in January and June and placed in foster homes across southern Manitoba with Mennonite caregivers.
Community members say the charges relate to allegations of extreme discipline. The Crown maintains that the alleged abuse was an effort to extract false allegations of sexual abuse from the children.
One of the apprehended youth was allowed to return home after running away from his CFS placement, and six children were allowed to return home to their two families in late October and early November.
As of Christmas, no other children had been returned, which left 36 or 37 children still in care. The criminal charges against adult community members remain before the courts and the allegations haven’t been proven.
• Predator imprisoned — A former local air cadet volunteer and scout leader who sexually assaulted boys during the 1980s gets six years in prison.
Iain Kenneth George Smy, 51, was sentenced on Aug. 15 for sexual assaults he committed against three boys between January 1984 and November 1988.
The boys were aged 11 to 18 at the time they were assaulted, and one was assaulted hundreds of times over a two-year period.
At the time, Smy was a member of the military stationed at CFB Shilo. He was a volunteer instructor with the Brandon air cadets and a leader for a CFB Shilo-based scout group.
His victims were members of those groups and some of the assaults happened during overnight camping trips.
The crimes came to light about 20 years later and Smy was arrested in Sarnia, Ont., in October 2009 following a lengthy investigation.
However, while out on bail, Smy fled the country and was ultimately arrested in Spain on April 30, 2012.
His capture was the result of a joint effort between the Brandon Police Service, the Manitoba Integrated Warrant Apprehension Unit and international police.
Smy was brought back to Canada where he pleaded guilty to the sex assaults and charges that resulted from his flight. In total, he was sentenced to six years in prison.
• "Clubhouse" death — The body of Aaron Daniel Jardine, 31, is found within a suite at the Brandon Community Welcome Clubhouse on Aug. 28.
Jardine, who had schizophrenia, lived at the non-profit housing co-op at the corner of 11th Street and Louise Avenue which rents apartments to people with psychiatric disabilities.
He was allegedly robbed, had his hands tied behind him, assaulted and had a "B-shaped wound" carved in his back.
Three men were later arrested and charged with robbery, aggravated assault, forcible confinement and assault with a weapon.
However, no charges have been laid in relation to Jardine’s death.
• Smoke Shop — Five Dakota men go on trial in relation to the operation of a smoke shop that sold cut-rate cigarettes.
The trial began in September and continued on various dates up to Dec. 9. A decision is expected in the new year.
Court heard that tens of thousands of smokes were seized from the Dakota Chundee Smoke Shop near Pipestone between November 2011 and March 2012.
Five men were charged with various offences under the provincial Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act.
Witnesses testify that the cigarettes weren’t marked for tax purposes in Manitoba, as required to show that provincial tobacco tax had been collected.
Charges against one of the accused were dropped mid-trial.
The remaining four accused unsuccessfully argued that provincial prosecutors didn’t have jurisdiction over the Dakota people, who didn’t sign a treaty.
However, Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta has yet to deliver verdicts based on the evidence.
One of the accused, Chief Orville Smoke of the Dakota Plains First Nation, has described the smoke shop as economic development.
• Court controversy — A Brandon judge caused a stir when he rejected a mandatory minimum sentence for a gunman who’d fired into a Carberry home.
Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Menzies made the precedent-setting move on Oct. 2 when he rejected a legislated mandatory minimum sentence.
Menzies spared the shooter — who’d fired bullets into an occupied house — from four years in prison and sent him to jail for a year instead.
The judge ruled that the four-year minimum would be grossly disproportionate to the crime and a violation of the offender’s constitutional rights.
The man was 19 years old in September 2011 when he fired six shots into the home. Some bullets narrowly missed the resident and a young woman inside.
The gunman claimed he’d snapped after years of torment by community members who’d harassed him because he’d once broken into a Carberry home and stolen women’s underwear.
Graffiti that called him a "loser" and "panty thief for life" had been spray-painted on the post office wall,
and he’d fired into the home of the man he believed responsible.
In rejecting the mandatory minimum, Menzies described the harassment as bullying and pointed to the offender’s lack of a previous adult record and the stringent bail conditions he was placed under.
The Crown attorney is appealing Menzies’ decision.
• Killer gets life — In October, Robert Patrick Ray Morand is sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing Brent Michael David Bialkoski.
Bialkoski was shot outside a Neepawa home in the early morning of April 10, 2010.
He and friends had met Morand at a bar that night and invited him back to the home where they continued to talk and drink.
Angered by a perceived insult by one of his other hosts, Morand shot the wrong man, Bialkoski, with a sawed-off .22- calibre rifle.
He then tried to shoot Bialkoski’s friend, Michael (Boe) David Smith, but the gun didn’t fire.
Morand fled to Winnipeg where he later surrendered at the Winnipeg Police Service headquarters.
On Oct. 8, 2013, he entered surprise guilty pleas — one to first-degree murder for killing Bialkoski, and another to attempted murder for trying to kill Smith.
On Oct. 10, Morand received a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for killing Bialkoski, plus a 10-year concurrent prison term for the attempted murder.
• Overdose Death — In November, following a 16-month investigation, police arrest a man in connection with the death of Chantelle Marie Halcro.
The 25-year-old’s body was found in her suite at the Youth for Christ building on Rosser Avenue on July 31, 2012.
It’s alleged that Halcro and a man were taking drugs together when the man injected her with the narcotic, hydromorphone, which caused her death.
Police say they received post-mortem results in May that confirmed the death was drug-related.
After consulting with the Crown attorney’s office on whether charges should be laid, police arrested a man on Nov. 27.
Donald Bustard, 52, is charged with manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
The case is before the courts and the allegations haven’t been proven.
• Shooter sentenced — A single shot fired in the night left one man dead and his brother-in-law facing prison.
Terris Ronald Mintuck, 50, of the Keeseekoowenin First Nation was sentenced on Dec. 6 to eight years in prison for manslaughter for killing his brother-in-law.
Mintuck shot 33-year-old Terrel Stewart Shorting dead in the evening of Jan. 4.
Shortly before the shooting, Mintuck had called RCMP to report that his nephews had shown up at his home after being beaten up by two men on the reserve.
He was told it would take 15 to 20 minutes for Mounties to respond and Mintuck told the operator: "We need someone sooner than that."
Twenty-two minutes later, Mintuck’s common-law wife called 911 to report that her brother, Shorting, had been shot and was dead.
Shorting had been shot through the chest, but Mintuck claimed he "didn’t mean to do it" and gave police two versions of what happened.
He said Shorting arrived and threw a beer can at him while he was returning his gun to an out-building — Mintuck had pointed the gun at Shorting to scare him in the belief the gun wasn’t loaded. In the other version, Mintuck claimed that he meant to shoot over Shorting’s head.
Shorting had been drinking and has a history of causing trouble when he drank, court heard.
• Killer sought — Brandon police continue to search for those responsible for killing a Brandon man.
The body of Earl Daniel Beebe, 39, was found in his apartment on the 600-block of Victoria Avenue in the early morning of Dec. 28 after firefighters were called there to put out a small fire.
Police later confirmed that Beebe had been repeatedly stabbed and died prior to the fire, which is believed to have been set to cover up the crime.
The Brandon Police Service has issued an appeal for tips, but there have been no arrests.
» Brandon Sun