01/15/2013 12:45 EST | Updated 03/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Riley Ballantyne, Saskatchewan Man, Get Life In Jail For Killing Grandmother In Drunken Christmas Day Slaying


PELICAN NARROWS, Sask. -- A Saskatchewan man with a history of mental health issues has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing his grandmother after a Christmas Day drinking bout.

Riley Ballantyne, a Pelican Narrows resident, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the 2010 death of Jean Ballantyne.

Ballantyne, who was 20 at the time of the killing, will not be eligible for parole for 10 years.

Court heard the accused had drug and alcohol problems, and had been drinking before violence flared in the family's home.

Crown prosecutor Fran Atkinson says the case is tragic because the stabbing would not have occurred had Ballantyne not been drinking.

A Court of Queen's Bench justice made a referral for Ballantyne to get psychiatric help as soon as possible.

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