A woman who held two teens hostage in her basement and assaulted them has been sentenced to more than three years in jail.
"The aggravating factors that I have to consider in sentencing are obvious," Judge John Combs said in his decision on Thursday. "Young people were confined and assaulted in horrifying circumstances, which included being threatened, shot with a gun, tied up and beaten."
Suezette Amber Dawn Bone, 34, pleaded guilty in Brandon provincial court to multiple charges, including forcible confinement, aggravated assault, using a firearm while committing an indictable offence and assault with a weapon.
Police were called to a group home on Oct. 9 after a child in their care returned home with his face swollen and covered in blood, according to a pre-sentence report.
The teen told police he had been tied up, beaten in the head with a wooden mallet and shot in the chest with what was later determined to be a blank, and that his girlfriend was still being held hostage in the house.
Police went to the house and found the girl hog-tied with a black electrical cord in the basement, the report said.
The girl told police she and her boyfriend had gone to the house to visit the upstairs tenant but instead found Bone sitting at the kitchen table with a gun, the report said. Bone was upset and accused the two teens of stealing from her.
Bone pushed the two down the stairs into the basement, where they were thrown on the couch and told not to move.
"The only way you’re leaving here is dead," Bone told the teens while pointing the gun at them, according to the report.
The girl told police she was hit with a hammer in the head and shins after being tied up.
In a confession letter sent to the Crown, Bone admitted to shooting the boy and said she had wanted revenge on the teens as she believed they had stolen her things, despite the fact they denied stealing from her and that she had found the missing items in another person’s living area.
Police also found multiple weapons lying around the basement, the report said, including knives, bear spray, a sawed-off .22 calibre rifle and shotgun ammunition.
Combs recognized Bone has no prior criminal record, and that she was caught in a downward spiral due to a severe methamphetamine addiction.
Bone has since resolved to attend treatment for her addiction issues as well as counselling to address significant trauma in her childhood, Combs said.
In spite of the mitigating factors present, Combs said Bone’s sentence had to emphasize deterrence and denunciation.
"The possession and use of firearms in this community is becoming far too common," Combs said. "Anyone who chooses to arm themselves with a firearm, in particular as it relates to their use or the sale of drugs, has to know they are facing a lengthy period of incarceration when sentenced for such crimes. The facts of this case call out for a significant penalty."
Bone was sentenced to a little more than three years in jail minus a credit for pre-sentence custody, leaving her with two years going forward.
She was also handed two years of supervised probation following custody.
Two men facing similar charges in relation to this incident — Austin Frohwerk and Jerrell Elk — remain in custody and have yet to enter pleas.
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