A convicted Kamloops killer has been sentenced to 12 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.
Stephen George Fraser was found guilty of stabbing 26-year-old Cody Foster to death on Feb. 11, 2017, in a trailer at an RV park in east Kamloops.
Fraser was arrested at the scene a short time after and has been in custody since.
A second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but it is up to a judge to determine how long a killer serves before becoming eligible for parole.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Len Marchand handed down the sentence Friday, noting aggravating factors such as the “egregious nature” of the attack and Foster’s state of intoxication that left him unable to defend himself as reasons warranting a sentence above the minimum 10 years before parole eligibility.
The fact Fraser expressed remorse for the offence during sentencing and his minor criminal record were mitigating factors in the decision, Marchand told the court.
The 12-year period falls short of the Crown’s recommendation of 14 to 15 years and was at the top end of the 10 to 12 years suggested by defence lawyer Jay Michi.
It will stretch from the time Fraser was arrested in 2017, meaning the 59-year-old Fraser won’t be eligible to apply for parole until he is in his late 60s.
“By that time, in my view, Mr. Fraser will pose a very low risk to public safety,” Marchand said.
Marchand expressed condolences to Foster’s family, though they were not in attendance.
“I’m terribly sorry for their loss. Mr. Foster was a blameless victim of a senseless act of violence,” he said.
“There’s no sentence that I can impose that will fill the void in your lives. I hope you can find some solace in the jury’s verdict and in your memories of happier times.”
Fraser was convicted of second-degree murder following a B.C. Supreme Court trial late last year.
He stabbed Foster to death while visiting him at his home in Dallas, jurors heard at trial.
Foster sustained multiple stab wounds and lacerations to his face and neck, as well as a broken jaw, nose and skull.
Testifying in his own defence, Fraser said he killed Foster to protect himself. He said Foster claimed to be a gang member and threatened him.
Foster, however, did not sustain any defensive wounds, which indicated an unprovoked attack, prosecutor Alex Janse argued at trial.