Igloolik man guilty in stabbing death of teenage girl

Jerry Ulayuruluk admitted to 2018 killing during call to police; sentencing hearing later this month

Jerry Ulayuruluk of Igloolik was found guilty of second-degree murder Thursday for a killing he was charged with back in 2018. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The night before Jerry Ulayuruluk stabbed a teenaged girl to death at his apartment in 2018, the 43-year-old Igloolik man had violently assaulted two people and was described by other partygoers as being intoxicated and enraged.

On Thursday morning, Ulayuruluk sat quietly in an Iqaluit courtroom as Justice Christian Lyons delivered his verdict in Ulayuruluk’s second-degree murder trial: Guilty.

Ulayuruluk’s lawyer, Craig Rogers, was hoping Lyons would hand down a guilty verdict for the lesser charge of manslaughter, but the judge said the evidence warranted a murder conviction.

In his 20-page decision, Lyons recounted the timeline of events as they unfolded the night of Oct. 25, 2018, and into the early hours the following morning, based on testimony presented during the trial.

Court heard that Ulayuruluk was at a social gathering with friends and family, where he and others consumed hard liquor throughout the night.

At one point, Ulayuruluk violently assaulted two people and left before police arrived, according to the decision.

Just before 4 a.m. on Oct. 26, Ulayuruluk called police, saying “there’s been a murder in Igloolik and [he] did it,” Lyons said, reading from his decision.

Police showed up minutes later to find the teenaged victim stabbed with a kitchen knife that was at least 20 centimetres long.

The victim was taken to the health centre but likely had died within two minutes of being stabbed, court heard.

According to Lyons’ reading of his decision, one of the arguments put forward by Rogers was that the stabbing was accidental and Ulayuruluk was so intoxicated at the time that he couldn’t have understood that his actions would cause death.

Court heard that Ulayuruluk was remorseful and apologetic after being arrested, and that he repeatedly asked if the victim was still alive.

Before being charged with murder, police told him he would be charged with aggravated assault. For that reason, a manslaughter conviction would be appropriate, Rogers argued.

However, Crown prosecutor John MacFarlane argued that other factors proved not only that the killing was intentional, but that Ulayuruluk should have known his actions would cause death.

Evidence presented showed the single stab wound went through the victim’s sternum and that it would have required a significant amount of force to drive a knife that deep.

The Crown also argued Ulayuruluk wasn’t as intoxicated at the time of the killing as he was a few hours earlier during the party.

In his decision, Lyons noted Ulayuruluk was “not in a state of blackout” when police arrived at his apartment.

The judge noted that after stabbing the victim, Ulayuruluk was able to call the 10-digit RCMP emergency phone number, navigate his way into the police truck without assistance and, while in custody, he was co-operative and attentive.

Ulayuruluk closed his eyes and shook his head when the verdict was read.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 25, during which the victim’s family will be able to provide an impact statement.

In Canada, the mandatory sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison with eligibility for parole after 10 to 25 years.

Ulayuruluk has been in custody for nearly five years since his arrest.


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