ONTARIO - Jesse Gervais stabbed his friend to death for $50 in cocaine, a provincial court heard Friday. Plunging a knife into Brodie Armstrong eight times, the Arnprior man fled with the narcotics begging witnesses not to call police while his bloodied, dying victim collapsed on the ground nearby.
For the "unlawfully killing" of Armstrong on the night of June 12, 2013, Gervais was sentenced by Justice Jane Wilson to 13 years in prison with no eligibility for parole for 6 1/2 years. Charged with first-degree murder, the 23-year-old drifter pleaded to the lesser offence of manslaughter earlier this week.
"Brodie was my friend," said Gervais from the prisoner's docket at the Renfrew town hall. "He was a good person and he did nothing to deserve the violence I did to him." Members of the victim's family wept as assistant Crown attorney Anya Kortenaar recounted the circumstances surrounding Armstrong's death.
Gervais was in the midst of a cocaine-fuelled binge on the night of the killing, Kortenaar explained. After drinking all day, he left the apartment where he was staying in search of drugs. He contacted Armstrong, who had provided him with narcotics a few weeks prior, sending 23 text messages and placing 16 phone calls in a period of 45 minutes.
Gervais offered to purchase marijuana or a ball of cocaine from Armstrong for between $300 and $600 and arranged a rendezvous for the transaction, the court heard. At 9 p.m., Armstrong left his home and picked up Gervais, who was concealing a 20-cm kitchen knife and a 10-cm knife with built-in brass knuckles. While the car was moving, Gervais pulled out one of the knives and began stabbing Armstrong, landing two fatal wounds through his heart, three more to the upper chest and one to the face above his right eyebrow.
Canoe.ca/Oct 4, 2014
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