Breanna Menacho’s killer eligible for parole in six years for second-degree murder

Supreme Court justice shocked to learn Devon Larabie obtained alcohol, crack cocaine and even heroin in jail waiting trial

Convicted murderer Devon Larabie is escorted into the Yellowknife Courthouse on Thursday morning. (James O'Connor/CKLB.)

Devon Larabie will be eligible for parole from his life sentence for second-degree murder in the death of Breanna Menacho in six years, a Supreme Court judge has ruled.

Justice David Gates was reluctant to accept the joint submission for 10 years before parole eligibility, but was legally restricted in his ability to reject it, he told the Yellowknife court.

The four years the 31-year-old Larabie has spent in pre-trial custody will be deducted as straight time from the 10-year period of parole ineligibility.

“You have done a terrible thing, you will have to live with this the rest of your life,” Gates said to Larabie. “You made a terrible, terrible mistake. And that mistake has devastating affect for a whole lot of people.”

An undated photo of Breanna Menacho, who was murdered in May 2020. (Photo courtesy of family/Facebook.)

The maximum sentence would be 25 years, but there is no guarantee the federal parole board would let him out after 10 years.

On May 5, 2020, Larabie had been on a five-day crack cocaine and alcohol binge without any sleep. While sitting beside Menacho on a couch in his Lanky Courts residence, he grabbed a hatchet and struck her several times, killing the 22 year old.

When the judge asked the member of the Lustle K’e Dene First Nation – who suffered from FASD as his mother used alcohol and drugs while pregnant — if he had anything to say, Larabie apologized to Menacho’s family, many of whom were in court, as they’ve been throughout the ordeal.

“I’m haunted by shame and guilt,” Larabie read from a hand-written statement. “I’m a failure, and I let my addiction blow my mind. That night, I was messed up on drugs and alcohol, and I blacked out.

“I don’t remember why I did what I did. And I know that doesn’t excuse me, I stand before you now taking full responsibility for my actions.

“You have no idea how much I wish I could go back and change what. I feel like I’m drowning in my thoughts (that) I replay over and over in my mind. I haven’t been the same since that night. I feel for her family. I still stay up all night crying.”

Justice Gates was shocked to learn Larabie – who was severely abused in a series of foster homes growing up – as an inmate was able to secure alcohol, crack cocaine and, at least once, heroin, while on remand in the North Slave Correctional Complex.

“(This) is a matter of great concern. Both in terms of its adverse impact on Mr. Larabie’s road to sobriety, but also in terms of its impact on public confidence in the administration of justice.”

Family and friends of Breanna Menacho share emotions after leaving the Yellowknife Courthouse Thursday afternoon, at the end of a two-day sentencing hearing for her killer, Devon Larabie. (James O’Connor/CKLB.)

About the Author

James O'Connor
James O’Connor joined CKLB 101.9 FM at the start of 2024, after working as a journalist, photo editor and managing editor at newspapers in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. James also has experience in politics, arts, service clubs and the NWT’s non-profit sector. At this point in his lengthy career, James is thrilled to be working at such a unique media outlet and always welcomes notes from listeners at: