Vicious assault nets two-year jail term

Hammer attacker will stay in federal prison for role in attack in Nelson Avenue garage

After coming within inches of taking a Penticton man’s life, Marcus Sheena will spend two more years behind bars at a federal penitentiary.

Sheena, 28, was sentenced at the Penticton provincial courthouse on Thursday after pleading guilty to assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

It was on Sept. 17, 2011 when Sheena and an accomplice, who was never found, approached two men in their early 50s sitting outside their garage/workshop on Nelson Avenue. After asking, and receiving a cigarette from one of the men Sheena attempted to enter the garage and when he was told not to he grabbed a ballpeen hammer hitting one of the men in the stomach and wrestling the other to the ground.

While grappling with the man on the ground Sheena stabbed him in the neck, nearly severing his jugular. His female accomplice, who Sheena never identified, strangled the other man to the point of unconsciousness.

RCMP dog services was called to try and track the assailants but they got away.

It was the cigarette Sheena dropped while assaulting the man that gave RCMP the forensic DNA evidence they needed to link him to the crime.

Defence counsel Renzo Caron said his client had a horrible upbringing that saw him introduced to alcohol, drugs and violence at a very young age and bounced between foster care families, arguing they were contributing factors to Sheena’s lack of sensibility.

Judge Gregory Koturbash said Sheena’s criminal past, which includes jail sentences for robbery and two assaults with a weapon along with a lack of remorse for the victim played into his decision. The judge said Sheena appears to be on the path of life in jail “in the instalment program.”

“The last 14 years have been nothing short of a persistence for a life of crime and nothing less,” said Koturbash. “Your actions were completely gratuitous and senseless.”

Koturbash said the victim still faces anxiety and flashbacks to the assault.

The judge did recognize that Sheena is making some strides to change his lifestyle, but he added some of the attitude change seemed to have come in “the 11th hour.” Sheena, who was behind bars since being arrested on Feb. 1, 2012 received enhanced credit for time served while waiting for reports to be completed for his sentencing. When released, Sheena will have three years of probation.