By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — A second man has been sent to prison in the vigilante slayings of two drug dealers three years ago in the small Manitoba community of St-Georges.
Andrew Bruyere was sentenced to five years after pleading guilty to two counts of manslaughter in the shooting deaths of Jody Brown, who was 43, and Steven Chevrefils, who was 35.
Last month, Claude Guimond, a former principal for the Sagkeeng First Nation was sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole for 14 years.
He had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
RCMP officers called to a home in St-Georges, about 120 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, in February 2017 found the victims.
Court heard the two men and a few others in the home, which had a grow-op in the basement, were having drinks and doing drugs, when a man with his face painted black came in to confront Brown and Chevrefils.
Guimond admitted in court that he was extremely intoxicated when he painted his face and went to the home. He said his two daughters had drug addictions and he was attempting to scare the two men to make them stop dealing.
A witness testified she heard loud bangs coming from the basement before she was struck in the head by a bullet that had ricocheted. Court heard Brown was found lying dead at the bottom of the stairs. Chevrefils had been left dead on the kitchen floor after a brief struggle with the assailant.
Cpl. Laura LeDrew of the Manitoba RCMP’s major crime services, said the case affected the community deeply because of Guimond’s “stature as a community leader, educator, and role model.”
“While I know the convictions do not bring their loved ones back, hopefully the families find a little solace in knowing that those responsible for the murders have been held to account for their actions,” LeDrew said in a news release.
During the investigation, officers interviewed witnesses, including Guimond, who denied ever going to the house or having any previous contact with the two victims.
Bruyere was arrested and charged on March 2, 2017, but the charges were stayed the next day when new developments came to light.
Investigators were eventually able to link DNA found at the crime scene to Guimond and he was charged on Dec. 12, 2018.
Later, while in custody, he admitted to family over a phone which had been wiretapped by police that he had been at the house that night.
Bruyere was rearrested on May 6, 2019.
“The arrest of Claude Guimond brought a new perspective to Andrew Bruyere’s involvement in the murders,” said LeDrew.
“Through the course of the investigation, RCMP determined that on the night of the murders, Claude Guimond and Andrew Bruyere went to a home in St-Georges together, and left together after the murders.” (CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)