Nunavut man sentenced to nearly 6 years in jail for friend’s death
Albert Napayok pleaded guilty to manslaughter charge in the death of Manasie Thompson
A Nunavut man has received a jail sentence of almost six years after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of his friend in Arviat.
Judge Neil Sharkey handed down his decision on Oct. 8 in an Iqaluit courtroom.
Albert Napayok, 32, was originally charged with second-degree murder but agreed to plea guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, according to one of his lawyers, Patrick Smith.
Sharkey addressed the victim’s family during the sentencing, who was watching the trial in person as well as on screen and listening over the phone from Arviat.
“I’m powerless to ease your grief,” Sharkey said to Manasie Thompson’s family, adding that Napayok’s sentence is not a reflection of Thompson’s life.
Napayok, dressed in a navy blue sweater and pants and sitting stoically by one of his lawyers, listened as Sharkey read out loud the facts of the case.
The night of Feb. 19, 2019, started with Napayok, Thompson and some friends drinking and smoking marijuana in Napayok’s house.
Napayok and Thompson, 29, playfought while another friend was with them. Later in the night, Napayok, who was drunk, brandished a knife and said he felt like killing someone.
Once the other friend had left and Napayok and Thompson were alone, Napayok swung his knife at Thompson, who was not drunk. Thompson became scared. Soon after, Napayok stabbed Thompson in the back, puncturing his lung. This was the wound that killed Thompson.
Once Thompson passed out, Napayok scrambled to resuscitate him but failed. Napayok proceeded to put Thompson’s body under his porch. Napayok, continuing to drink, then walked around Arviat at night telling people he killed Thompson.
Police found Thompson’s body the next day and arrested Napayok.
Sharkey said up until this incident, Napayok’s life, which includes four assault charges, had fewer legal problems than most people with a difficult past have.
Napayok’s mother was murdered when he was young and his father was barely around. Napayok grew up in the foster care system. As a teenager, Napayok was homeless for a time to escape the foster care system and he developed an alcohol problem.
Sharkey said the homicide rate in Nunavut is 10 times the national average. He added Nunavut also has a “paucity of treatment options” for alcoholism and negligible services for the trauma of the residential schooling system.
Napayok is set to serve just under two years of his almost six-year sentence, taking into account 1,445 days credit owed to to him for time served.
This will allow him to stay in a Nunavut institution for the remainder of his sentence, said Sharkey.
Included in this sentence is 60 days of jail time for an assault Napayok committed in 2018, which is to be served consecutively with the manslaughter charge. Napayok was also sentenced to 30 days for breaking parole in 2018, which is to be served concurrently.