WINNIPEG — The best friend of a Manitoba Indigenous woman killed during a botched robbery looked at a man found guilty in the death and asked how a life could be worth only $45.
In January, a jury convicted Jason Meilleur of manslaughter in the death of Jeanenne Fontaine.
Fontaine was shot and her Winnipeg home set on fire in 2017 when three men came to her house to collect on a drug debt her boyfriend owed.
Fontaine was the cousin of Tina Fontaine, a teenager whose body was found three years earlier in the Red River, and whose death fuelled renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Melissa Stevenson told Meilleur’s sentencing hearing that her friend was struggling with addiction after her cousin’s murder but she had goals to get clean.
In her final diary entry read in court, Fontaine wrote that she wanted to get a new place to call home.
The Crown is asking that Meilleur be sentenced to 15 years.
The defence has not made its submission yet.
Two other men have been convicted and sentenced in the woman’s death.
The Canadian Press