A Gameti man must serve 20 years in prison before he has a chance to apply for parole for killing his ex-wife’s new boyfriend in Yellowknife in 2015.
Kevin Mantla, 39, received his punishment Thursday from Judge Louis Charbonneau in Supreme Court in Yellowknife.
Mantla, who was convicted of second degree murder, smiled as he was led from the courtroom to begin serving his minimum two-decade sentence.
Charbonneau said that she could not lessen the punishment for Mantla even though he is an Indigenous offender.
She pointed out that he grew up in a loving home with next to no alcohol or domestic abuse.
The judge also sentenced Mantla to 15 years for the attempted murder of his ex-wife the same night that he stabbed Lafferty to death in a Lanky Court apartment.
That sentence is to run concurrently with the 20-year sentence.
His ex survived the brutal attack in which she almost saw her hand severed.
Charbonneau pointed out that the fact the horrific attack occurred in front of three children made the crime particularly heinous.
Lafferty’s mother, Mary Jane Lafferty, who made the trip in from Behchoko for the sentencing, said outside court that Mantla got off easy.
“I can’t say I’m feeling good. I can’t say I’m happy. Why 20 years? They should just throw him in for 25 years and throw away the key. I’m never going to see my kid again. That’s the only thing that’s on my mind right now. They should have given him 25. I don’t want to say anymore.”
Lafferty’s father Archie Lafferty chocked up as he spoke to reporters following the sentencing.
“It doesn’t feel good. Everything is in the past now. What he did – he deserves it. My son is six feet underground. I won’t see him until I die. Probably if I’m lucky, I’ll see him in heaven, in paradise. For what (Mantla) did – to understand in the bible – if a person kills a person, he wouldn’t be in heaven. He would be burning for the rest of his life.”
In handing down her sentence, Judge Louise Charbonneau noted that Mantla did witness a traumatic event as a child when his mother and two brothers perished in a fire.
But she also pointed out that it was pure jealous rage that prompted Mantla to fly in from Gameti and attack the couple the next day.
Elvis Lafferty, pictured here on his Facebook page, died of stab wounds in September of 2015.
The judge said that Mantla had never been charged with violence against his ex-partner in the past but he had been convicted with mischief and violating court orders by contacting her when he wasn’t supposed to.
She says the fact he was high on crack and alcohol when the attack occurred was not a factor in her sentence.
The judge challenged all residents of the NWT to take stock of their surroundings and do what they can to try to prevent domestic violence and spousal abuse – crimes that she says are all to prevalent in this jurisdiction.
Crown prosecutor Jill Andrews agrees with Charbonneau.
“This was a brutal, senseless act of domestic violence, especially in front of three kids. Today, Mr. Mantla was held accountable.” she said outside court following the sentencing.
Mantla’s lawyer says his is not sure whether his client intends to appeal his conviction and/or his sentence.