PENTICTON, B.C. - A 26-year-old man will spend another six months in prison before beginning the long journey back into the community of Oliver, B.C., for drunkenly stabbing his younger brother to death.
Kyle Louie was sentenced Thursday after earlier pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of his 21-year-old brother, Reece Louie, on Feb. 19, 2011.
The Crown said Reece Louie suffered multiple stab wounds in an altercation at their father’s house, where the brothers lived at the time.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen agreed with a joint submission from Crown and defence lawyers that Louie be sentenced to 75 months and be declared a long-term offender.
Given 69 months’ credit for time already served, Louie has six months remaining on his sentence. His time behind bars will be followed by five and a half years of supervision as a long-term offender.
Louie declined to address the court, but turned and waved to family members and supportersbefore being escorted out of the courtroom as some people in the gallery hugged each other.
Family members, including the brothers’ mother, declined to comment.
Defence lawyer Tom Arbogast later said the family is relieved by the judge’s decision.
“I don’t know if anyone’s happy in a situation like this," he said. "It was a tragedy on all sides. Hopefully they can heal and move ahead in the community about this and use this as something to maybe draw a positive out of something that was really tragic.”
Court heard Louie believes that turning his turn his life around would the best possible tribute to his brother. He hopes to become a mechanic.
As part of the long-term offender designation, Cullen recommended to the National Parole Board that Louie enter various residential treatment programs and then a halfway house following his release from prison.
Arbogast said he remains hopeful that Louie will succeed in changing his life, with the support of fellow members of the Osoyoos Indian Band.
“I’m very comfortable that his community has turned out for him and I think that’s a really good sign because he needs community support,” he said. “He needs to understand the gravity of what has happened and I think that he really does.”
“I can just say that Kyle is relieved and I think he really wants to move forward in a positive way,” he said after meeting with his client.
Kyle and Reece Louie were close friends, but had severe anger management and drug and alcohol problems. They often violently fought each other when intoxicated.
Court has heard a breathalyzer reading taken several hours after his arrest indicated Louie had a blood-alcohol level of .30, almost four times the legal limit. (Penticton Herald)