A Dawson Creek man has been sentenced for a violent attack on another man in November 2018 where he repeatedly shot and kidnapped his victim before leaving them to die in frigid winter temperatures.
Stacy Ray Laglace, 32, appeared in Dawson Creek Supreme Court on Monday, Aug. 15, to face the charges in person, offering an apology to the court for his crimes, however, sentencing was held and delivered by Justice Carla Forth on Aug. 19.
"My actions were terrible that night. I take full responsibility for my actions," Laglace said. "I'm deeply sorry for what I did to him, I'm deeply sorry for the community, that's it."
In November 2021, Laglace pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, use of a firearm to commit forcible confinement, use of restricted or prohibited firearm to commit robbery and kidnapping, and occupation of a vehicle knowing a restricted or prohibited firearm was present. Co-accused Devin Calliou, 27, was sentenced in July for his role in the kidnapping.
Court heard Laglace pulled a pistol on the victim Nov. 7, 2018, after having heard they might have shot his friend. The attack occurred at a garage in Dawson Creek where they had been drinking and using drugs with Calliou, as well as another man and woman.
The victim was shot in the right foot, court heard, with the group attempting to patch the wound. Laglace then pointed the pistol at the man and pulled the trigger, but it did not fire - others were asked to get another bullet by Laglace, who reloaded it.
The victim was then confined to the garage and beat with bicycle parts by the group of assailants. Laglace and a woman left and returned after refueling a truck and court heard the four then discussed where they were going to dump the man, with Laglace proceeding to shoot the victim in the right leg above the kneecap. The victim was then robbed of his wallet and forced to give his attackers the password to his phone.
The victim’s hands were tied behind his back and he was forced into the truck, court heard. Laglace and Calliou drove roughly 30 minutes out of town, arriving at a bridge where the man was dragged out of the vehicle. Laglace then placed his foot on the victim's chest to prevent movement, shooting the victim again, this time twice in the shoulder. Laglace and Calliou then drove away, court heard.
The victim got up and walked up a hill before passing out and being found by a seismic work crew. He was rushed to hospital, put in an induced coma, and flown to Vancouver for treatment and recovery.
The victim was so traumatized by the attack that no formal victim statement was provided as testimony, court heard. He suffered frostbite in addition to his gun wounds and required six surgeries to address multiple fractures and nerve damage from being shot and beaten. Two of his fingers also had to be amputated due to the severity of the frostbite.
Justice Forth accepted a joint submission from Laglace's lawyer and the Crown prosecution, sentencing Laglace to five years in jail with two years of probation, along with a 10-year mandatory firearms ban and a DNA order.
However, Laglace has already served 763 days in custody and was credited by time and a half to a total of 1,145 days, reducing the time left on his sentence. Just 681 days are left to serve.
Justice Forth said while Laglace has no record of violent crimes prior to the 2018 shooting, she noted the attack was unprovoked and excessively violent, weighing the mitigating and aggravating circumstances.
"It was an unprovoked attack, it was violent. The nature of the wounds themselves were life-threatening injuries and significantly life-altering injuries," she said. "Mr. Laglace discarded [the victim] who was grievously injured and his hands bound on a very cold night in a rural area, demonstrating a callous disregard for [their] welfare."
Gladue factors were considered in sentencing, with the court advised that Laglace has a history of intergenerational trauma, with two grandmothers who lived through the residential school system, and parents who abused drugs and alcohol.
Laglace has 83 convictions for property crime in addition to driving offences, obstructing justice, and non-compliance with probation orders, the court hearing that his offending history began in 2001 as a youth and carried into adulthood, fueled by drug abuse.
"I accept that Mr. Laglace has insight into his behaviour and is truly remorseful," said Forth.