One of the three men accused of killing an Alberta man and dumping his body on a forest service road off the Coquihalla Highway in 2017 has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Joshua Fleurant, 23, was initially charged with first-degree murder, alongside Jared Jorgenson, 30, and Ryan Watt, 29, after Michael Bonin’s body was found on Peers Creek Forest Service Road north of Hope in April 2017.
In a Kelowna courtroom on Monday, May 3, Fleurant pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder.
While a life sentence was a foregone conclusion due to the second-degree murder conviction, Crown and defence lawyers jointly recommended Fleurant serve 20 years before he is eligible for parole — five years less than if he had been convicted of first-degree murder.
The circumstances of the crime remain covered under a publication ban to protect the fairness of Jorgenson’s and Watt’s still upcoming trials.
Jorgenson’s second-degree murder trial is scheduled to take place later in May, while Watt is anticipated to stand trial by jury for first-degree murder in January 2022.
The publication ban covers all evidence presented until after Watt’s jury trial comes to a close.
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