The mother of an Aklavik woman who was killed by her son-in-law 2015 is infuriated by a plea deal that saw him convicted of manslaughter and not murder.
Pamela Meyook along with her husband made the trip from Aklavik to Yellowknife Monday for a hearing where the details of the grisly crime committed against her daughter May Elanik were revealed in court.
Frank Elanik Jr., 39, is to have a sentencing hearing in Aklavik beginning on November 5th.
“We are unhappy with the decision. It was difficult to listen to the details today. I’ve been told that he will only be sentenced to three more years and that’s not right,” Meyook said outside court following the hearing. ‘That means he will only serve six years for my daughter’s death. He should have been convicted of second-degree murder.”
It is not entirely clear how much consultation the Crown prosecutor had with the victim’s family, if any, prior to the plea deal being struck.
The couple had been together for almost 20 years and had five children together.
Court heard that back in November of 2015 they left a party in darkness in the early morning hours and ended up together on a backroad near a snowmobile trail in the community.
There was a dispute of some sort and the victim was punched repeatedly and kicked by Elanik who then dragged her down the trail and left her there unconscious with a broken jaw and fractured skull.
The woman was found several hours later by a passerby who contacted RCMP.
She received treatment in Aklavik and Inuvik before being medevaced to an Edmonton hospital where she died just over a week later without ever regaining consciousness.
An autopsy showed she died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Elanik was arrested and originally charged with murder in May of 2016 and has been in custody ever since.
He accepted the plea deal and pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this year.
Elanik had been convicted three previous times for assaulting his wife, the latest coming in January of 2016 when he pleaded guilty to an assault on her that occurred before the fatal attack.
He had been under a court order not to have contact with her without her permission at the time she was killed.
In Canada, manslaughter carries an automatic life sentence with no set minimum amount of years that must be served in custody before parole can be applied for.
The Crown prosecutor in the case would not say how much prison time he will be seeking.
He described the plea deal as a “just resolution” to the homicide.
Elanik will be sentenced by Supreme Court Judge Shannon Smallwood.