NEWS: Nunavut June 03, 2014 - 12:28 pm

Nunavut man guilty of manslaughter in Cape Dorset shooting

2010 incident led to death of Jamesie Simigak, 23


A Cape Dorset man has been found not guilty of second-degree murder, but guilty of manslaughter, lawyers have confirmed.

Elee Geetah, 23, was arrested and charged with murder in relation to an Oct. 10, 2010 incident in the South Baffin community of nearly 1,500 people.

Police said in a 2010 news release they responded to a complaint about shots fired in a Cape Dorset housing unit.

An armed man shot rounds from inside the house. The RCMP in Iqaluit sent a negotiator to the scene after the man barricaded himself in the house.

The gunman gave himself up three hours later, when police found Jamesie Simigak, also 23, dead inside the house.

Geetah was tried in Cape Dorset on the murder charge by a judge sitting alone, from Dec. 10 to Dec. 12, 2013.

Defence lawyer James Morton and Crown prosecutor Barry McLaren confirmed that Justice Neil Sharkey has since decided that Geetah is guilty of manslaughter.

Sharkey has not yet delivered his written reasons for the decision. The two lawyers said that will come in July.

The penalty for someone found guilty of manslaughter in a killing where a firearm is used faces a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is life.

Manslaughter is an unlawful killing where there is no intent to kill.

Neither lawyer would comment further on the decision or the upcoming sentencing.

A Nunavut Court of Justice clerk confirmed that Geetah’s next court date is set for July 14.

Geetah still faces several other charges related to the incident. 

They includes six charges of discharging a firearm with intent; one charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose; and one charge of mischief.

Morton said those charges will likely be dealt with after Sharkey gives his reasons for the manslaughter verdict.