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Penticton family disappointed with manslaughter plea
The Penticton man accused of stabbing to death a teen at a grad bush party has pled guilty to manslaughter.
Jamie Paul Wolanski was charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 16-year-old Andrew McAdam at a bush party up Carmi Road and entered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Monday at the Penticton courthouse.
“A couple of weeks ago [Crown counsel] called us into a meeting and said the offer was being presented. We weren’t in agreement,” said McAdam’s mother Linda Childs. “No one gave us the opportunity to say yes or no. I guess in Canada the law is what Crown says goes.”
Childs wanted it to be presented before a jury as planned. The matter was scheduled to get underway for a 10-day-long trial beginning Aug. 12 in Penticton.
“They didn’t give us the opportunity to have a jury to hear evidence and decide if it was second-degree or manslaughter,” said Childs.
The difference between the two charges is second-degree murder is a deliberate kiliing carried out without planning. This charge carries a minimum sentence of life in prison with no parole for 10 years, but can be as long as life in prison without parole for 25 years. Manslaughter is a homicide committed without the intention to cause death and in some cases occurs in the heat of passion as a result of being provoked or if alcohol or other substances are found to have impaired the perpetrator. Sentences for manslaughter vary and there is no minimum, except if the act is committed with a firearm.
In June of 2011 RCMP were called to the rural Carmi Road around 2 a.m. where over 100 local high school students had gathered for an annual graduation party known as Sunset, and is not sanctioned by the schools. McAdam, who was in Grade 11 at the time, was at the party when he was stabbed. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
“I am hoping (Wolanski) gets the maximum possible for manslaughter,” said Childs. “I don’t have my son and not 10, 20, 25 or even 50 years is going to bring my son back. I wish we had the kind of laws where I could wish unto (Wolanski) everything that my son can never have. My son will never fall in love for the first time, my son will never drive a car for the first time, he won’t graduate, he won’t have his first job. I haven’t been able to sleep properly since my son died and I certainly hope we will be able to move on to the grieving process once this is done.”
A sentencing hearing for Wolanski has been scheduled for Sept. 10.