NEWS

Torture murder nets B.C. gangsters 25-year sentence

11/29/2012 05:53 EST | Updated 01/29/2013 05:12 EST
Two members of a Vernon, B.C.-based drug gang known as the Greeks have been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years after being convicted of murder.

Dale Sipes was given two life sentences, one for the torture and murder of David Marniuk in 2004 and the other for the execution-style murder of Ron Thom in 2005.

Leslie Podolski was sentenced to life for being an active participant in Marniuk's death.

Both of the convicted men were described as gang enforcers.

The court was told during their trial that Marniuk was beaten and tortured with a hammer and a blow torch for not paying for drugs he that he had used.

Thom was suspected of being a police informant and was shot twice in the face by Sipes.

Appeal planned

Justice William Smart called the killings brutal and sadistic, noting that the victims’ families have been left traumatized by the manner in which both men died.

Outside court, Sipes' lawyer, Matthew Nathanson, said an appeal will be launched on the basis of evidentiary rulings and the charge to the jury.

"It’s not a question of criticizing the trial judge, it’s a question of ensuring that the Court of Appeal looks at those issues and makes sure that the accused had a fair trial."

Three other members of the gang will be sentenced later.

Two were also convicted of first-degree murder. The other man, Peter Manalakos, of Greek descent, was convicted on two manslaughter charges and was considered the leader of the gang, hence their nickname.

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