Two men have pleaded guilty to reduced charges in what police described as a gang-related murder in a schoolyard in Kamloops, B.C.
Travis Johnny and Anthony Scotchman entered guilty pleas in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Both were charged with one count each of first-degree murder and commission of an offence for a criminal organization stemming from the March 2011 slaying of 23-year-old Archie LePretre of Vancouver.
In exchange for the guilty pleas, the Crown dropped the criminal-organization charges, allegedly related to the Redd Alert street gang.
Johnny, 26, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, which carries an automatic sentence of life in prison, while 28-year-old Scotchman admitted to manslaughter.
LePretre was playing basketball in the Stuart Wood elementary schoolyard with his cousin when he was attacked by three masked assailants wielding knives and a baseball bat, police said at the time.
Mounties told a news conference that the murder involved a conflict between members of rival criminal organizations.
“Police have established that Archie LePretre and his cousin were victims of a focused, targeted, gang-related attack,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said at the time.
“The suspects are believed to be from a known rival gang.”
LePretre’s family said he was not involved with a gang.
He was in Kamloops visiting family when he was killed.
Johnny was arrested and charged in December 2013. Scotchman was arrested until April 2014.
Johnny is slated to return to court in March to find out how long he will serve behind bars before he is eligible for parole. Scotchman’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place the following day. (Kamloops This Week)
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