Tetu pleads guilty to manslaughter

Michael Tetu was sentenced to 15 years in jail at the Fort Frances Courthouse on Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Deanna Daw on Oct. 29, 2000 as well as to four other charges unrelated to that incident.
He will be eligible for parole in five years.
While originally slated to stand trial for second-degree murder, a joint submission by Crown Attorney Robert “Buster” Young and defence lawyer Daniel Brodsky saw Justice Terrance Platana sentence Tetu, 27, for the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The grounds for the reduced charge were based on the fact there was no proof of Tetu’s intents in the fatal shooting, which was preceded by several accounts of domestic conflict between Tetu and his common-law wife and bouts of alcohol consumption on Tetu’s part, said Brodsky.
“He is responsible for Deanna’s death but he did not intend to do it,” Brodsky remarked while wrapping up the account of the events leading up to the shooting at the Burriss residence that October night.
While the reduced charge was agreed upon by both the defence and Crown, Young stressed to Justice Platana that the sentence in this case should be above the five-year minimum for manslaughter.
“The situation of a wrongful killing is always a concern for the community as a whole. A sentence should be increased accordingly if it causes aggravation,” Young argued.
“This [shooting] was done in the presence of their four-year-old daughter, Kristina. I can only imagine the sound of that pistol going off in the house.
“It’s a domestic homicide,” added Young, suggesting a sentence of 12 years—with the court giving two years credit for the time Tetu already has spent behind bars.
Justice Platana noted that while it is at a judge’s discretion whether or not to accept a joint submission, “this one is entirely appropriate in my mind,” he said.
Besides being sentenced to the 10 years for manslaughter, Tetu faces an additional five years in jail—to be served consecutively—for assault with a weapon.
He also was sentenced to 15 years—to be served concurrently—for an additional charge of assault with a weapon and two counts of unlawful imprisonment.
The latter charges stemmed from Tetu’s role in a hostage-taking incident at the Fort Frances Jail last June 28-29.
The sentence also indicated Tetu’s DNA will go on file, he is prohibited from owning firearms for the rest of his life, and the three firearms seized by police in their investigation will be forfeited to the Crown.
Three victim impact statements were submitted to Justice Platana, but these were not read aloud in court Monday afternoon.