Nunavut man jailed for vodka-fuelled attack that hastened father’s death
Christopher Jaypoody, 38, of Clyde River convicted of manslaughter
A Clyde River man who smashed his ailing father’s ribs during a vodka-fuelled altercation at their home last year, contributing to the older man’s death, must serve four years in prison for manslaughter, Justice Susan Cooper ruled at a June 27 sentencing hearing in Iqaluit.
Christopher Jaypoody, now 38, was—on Feb. 5, 2018— charged with second-degree murder following his father’s death at the Qikiqtani General Hospital.
But only the sentence—and not the manslaughter verdict—arose from a negotiation between Crown and defence, Jaypoody’s lawyer, Ilan Neuman told Nunatsiaq News.
“The sentence was the one that was negotiated, in the sense that we both came to the conclusion that a sentence of four years would be appropriate in the circumstances,” Neuman said.
Minus credit for time spent in pre-trial custody, Jaypoody has 698 days left to serve in jail.
Because that amounts to about 23 months, Jaypoody will serve that time at a territorial correctional centre and will avoid a federal penitentiary, Neuman said.
Following his release from jail, Jaypoody must abide by the terms of a three-year probation order, which includes an order not to drink and to seek counselling.
He had no previous criminal record, except for an assault conviction related to an incident that occurred in St. John’s, Nfld., in 2009.
Murder charge doesn’t stick
Prior to last week’s sentencing, Cooper, after a preliminary inquiry held to determine if there was enough evidence to justify sending Jaypoody to trial, and on what charge, ruled he should be committed for trial only on the lesser charge of manslaughter.
And that’s the offence to which Jaypoody pleaded guilty.
On the evening of Feb. 1, 2018, Jaypoody, who had recently returned from a two-week shift at the Mary River iron mine, attacked his father, 66-year-old Levi Illingayuk, after an argument between the two men escalated into violence, says an agreed statement of facts that Neuman and Crown lawyer Abel Dion filed in court.
In two attacks, one in their living room and one in a bedroom, Jaypoody stomped on his father’s back and ribcage with his bare heel, causing nearly a dozen rib fractures.
Jaypoody, Illingayuk and Jaypoody’s girlfriend, Tracy Tassugat, had been drinking together, sharing three 60-ouncers of vodka.
In one of her statements to police, Tassugat said Jaypoody could have consumed as much as one and a half 60-ouncers, equal to 90 ounces of vodka, the agreed statement of facts said.
Broken ribs, severe COPD
Illingayuk, who had severe COPD, ended up at the Clyde River health centre, in pain and suffering from breathing problems.
COPD stands for “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” a catch-all term that covers emphysema, chronic bronchitis or irreversible asthma.
Because of his multiple broken ribs, he had trouble getting enough oxygen. The next morning, a doctor ordered him to be medevaced to the Qikiqtani General Hospital.
He died there on the morning of Feb. 3 after he became deprived of oxygen, even after nurses administered oxygen to him at the QGH.
On Feb. 5, the RCMP laid a charge of second-degree murder against Jaypoody.
But the murder charge didn’t stick, and morphed into manslaughter after Jaypoody’s preliminary inquiry.
That’s likely because the forensic pathologist who examined Illingayuk’s body, Dr. Christopher Milroy, said the older man’s broken ribs probably could not have killed him on their own.
“At the preliminary hearing, Dr. Milroy testified that Levi could have survived the chest injuries if he had not suffered from COPD,” the agreed statement of facts said.
But at the same time, Milroy testified that without the chest injuries, Illingayuk would have lived longer with his COPD.
“While he would not have relegated the chest injuries to a secondary role, Dr. Milroy’s opinion was that the COPD and chest injuries could have equally contributed to Levi’s death,” the statement of facts said.
Also, at a bail hearing for Jaypoody held on Oct. 26, 2018, a Crown lawyer told Justice Paul Bychok, who presided over the bail hearing, that the prosecution’s murder case, even then, was “very marginal.”
“He was more confident respecting the possibility of a manslaughter verdict,” Bychok said this past Nov. 29, 2018, in his decision, which denied Jaypoody’s bail application.
That bail decision, in which Bychok ruled that the Supreme Court of Canada’s Gladue principles do not apply to bail hearings, had been covered by a temporary ban on publication.
But now that the Nunavut court is finished with Jaypoody’s case, it’s now legally possible to report on that bail decision.
Watch for that story soon on nunatsiaq.com.
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