Igloolik man pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Steven Akittirq, 27, was originally charged with first-degree murder in June 2014 killing of teenage girl

By BETH BROWN

Steven Akittirq of Igloolik has pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of a young woman who police found dead near Igloolik in June of 2014. (FILE PHOTO)


Steven Akittirq of Igloolik has pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of a young woman who police found dead near Igloolik in June of 2014. (FILE PHOTO)

An Igloolik man accused of killing a teenage girl in June 2014 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit Oct. 2.

Steven Akittirq, 27, was originally charged with first-degree murder after police found the young woman’s body near Igloolik on June 9, 2014.

“I take it today you want to plead not guilty to first-degree murder, but guilty to second-degree murder,” Justice Neil Sharkey said as the accused stood in court.

“Yes,” Akittirq said, and responded “guilty” when asked by the court to state his plea.

“This was a resolution that was expected in February and it went off the rails,” Crown lawyer Christian Lyons said.

The Crown accepted the plea and defence lawyer James Morton assured the court that the plea is informed, saying he has met with the accused on multiple occasions.

Second-degree murder is a non-premeditated killing, where death is a possible result of an attack that was not planned ahead of time.

First-degree murder requires that an assailant fully intended to kill their victim prior to any altercation.

First-degree murder is considered the most serious form of homicide in Canada and carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Second-degree murder also carries an automatic life sentence, but with no chance of parole for only 10 years.

In 2015, Alison Crowe, then Akittirq’s lawyer, asked to have the dead woman’s autopsy results reviewed by a second party to see if a manslaughter plea was more appropriate.

Manslaughter is usually applied to an illegal act that results in death, but there was no intent to kill.

A four-day sentencing hearing for Akittirq is scheduled in Igloolik, starting on Jan. 30.

Lyons said police would lay new charges against Akittirq soon. These charges, and other existing charges, are scheduled next for a Nov. 6 court date.

Since the defence is requesting that a pre-sentencing report be ordered prior to trial, the date cannot be moved sooner, Sharkey said.

“Steven, I want to get your case finished as soon as we can, it’s a very serious case,” Sharkey said.

“Any time that you spend on remand will be credited to you. It does pay to wait to do things right.”

Share This Story

(0) Comments