Peters gets two years in beating death of Mount Currie teen 

The final chapter in the murder of Mount Currie teen Ross Leo ended last week with a two year jail sentence for the man accused of his death.

Wade Calvin Peters, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was sentenced to two years in jail on top of the time he has already served, for a total jail time of four and half years.

He will be eligible for parole at some point in the next two years.

"(Manslaughter sentences) tend to be lower than a lot of people think they should," said Crown Counsel Ralph Keefer, who argued for a sentence somewhere in the range of five to eight years.

"When you factor parole in, sometime sentences in manslaughter can be disturbingly lenient."

The defense in this case was looking for a conditional sentence of home arrest, which would have been no more than two years.

"Neither of us really got what we wanted," said Keefer.

"The sentence came down in the middle.

"I think (Leo’s) family was understandably disappointed with the sentence but was at least relieved that the judge did not accept the defense’s argument that home arrest was the appropriate way to deal with it."

Peters was sentenced on Friday May 14 after submissions from the Crown and the defense lawyers.

The sentence was delivered two years after Leo’s death.

The Mount Currie teen’s body was discovered on May 2, 2002 in a well-known secluded drinking spot behind the Signal Hill Elementary School in Pemberton.

Initially Peters, who was 28 at the time of the Leo’s death, and another man, Lorne Edmonds, were charged with second-degree murder.

Witnesses had seen the three wrestling over a bottle of wine earlier in the night.

After reviewing the evidence, the charges against Edmonds were dropped. The charges against Peters were also reduced to manslaughter because of the level of drunkenness.

"All of the witnesses were consistent in their description of Peters as being drunk, both before the killing and afterwards."

At the sentencing Keefer told the court again that Peters had admitted striking Leo a number of times in the head with a log or a rock.

The forensic pathologist confirmed that Leo had been struck in the head between 12 to 15 times.

Leo was just 15 years old at the time of his death.

Less than one month ago, another Mount Currie man was found dead at the same spot.

RCMP charged a local man with second degree murder hours after Matthew Pierre’s body was found but those charges were later stayed due to insufficient evidence. Police are still investigating this case.

Meanwhile the communities of Pemberton and Mount Currie have established a task force to deal with drug and alcohol issues in their communities.

A strategic planning workshop is planned for mid-June.

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