Colton Migwi, a man from Behchoko who killed his brother, was sentenced to six years in prison on Wednesday.

In March 2020, Migwi pleaded guilty to manslaughter after his brother, Andrew Migwi, was found dead in their home earlier that month.

Andrew Migwi, 30, died minutes after being stabbed multiple times in the head and once in the buttocks by his brother, who was 29 years old at the time.

Colton Migwi has already served two years in jail while awaiting sentencing. He will be on three years of probation after he is released.

Supreme Court justice Andrew Mahar presided over the case and determined the sentence.

Crown attorney Duane Praught proposed that Colton Migwi be imprisoned for eight years, minus the time he had already served. He pointed to the possible danger posed by the offender’s potential mental health complications. Migwi did not cooperate with doctors to complete a psychiatric assessment.

Prior to the incident, Migwi was not taking previously prescribed medication relating to his mental health.

Alcohol was also a factor in the fatal incident.

The convicted party stated that when he blacks out from intoxication, he becomes a different person.

Before Migwi’s arrest, he was overheard asking himself, “Did I kill my brother?”

Seated next to Migwi was defence lawyer Peter Harte. He proposed that his client be imprisoned for 16 months, followed by three years of probation. He said that was justifiable based on behavior exhibited during the offender’s stay at the North Slave Correctional Complex over the past two years. According to Harte, Migwi has been allowed to be in the kitchen at the correctional centre, which gave him access to potentially harmful tools such as knives, and yet he chose not to abuse that privilege.

A testimony written by Migwi’s mother, Georgina Migwi, was read aloud. Colton Migwi found it to be particularly emotional. He cried silently as he heard his mother’s words.

She said how much she missed Andrew Migwi, and lamented that Andrew’s children would not get the chance to know their father.

She also said that she forgives Colton Migwi completely, she prays for him daily and that he was a good man who made a mistake.

Her statement was closed by expressing that they would “learn to accept him no matter what, which is the Dene way. I ask Creator to guide you and bless you.”

Members of Migwi’s family in the courtroom audience were also shedding tears after hearing Georgina Migwi’s words.

Colton Migwi was also given an opportunity to speak. He said that he was sorry for his actions, and while he could not bring his brother back, he said he could heal, and he would cooperate with the judicial process.

After the discussions and testimonies, which took two-and-a-half hours, Mahar called for a three-hour deliberation to decide Migwi’s sentence. He acknowledged that it was a difficult decision to make.

Migwi’s six-year sentence will continue at the North Slave Correctional Complex, where he will be near his family.

Jonathan Gardiner

After a tough break looking for employment in Alberta, I moved to Yellowknife in 2017 and became a multimedia journalist in 2022. I enjoy the networking side of my job, and I also aspire to write my...

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