Killer to be sentenced in the new year

Kourtny Audette. Apr. 24, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

A Wallaceburg woman who admitted to killing a man will be sentenced in the new year.

Kourney Audette apologized to her victim’s family in a Chatham court Friday, as the court heard submissions about what kind of sentence she should get.

The 28-year-old Wallaceburg woman was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Nick Laprise almost four years ago, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in August.

Crown Attorney Rob MacDonald is asking for a 10-year penitentiary sentence and a lifetime ban on weapons for Audette. Manslaughter carries a sentence of up to life in prison.

MacDonald called the crime a “deliberate act of violence” on a defenceless man.

“The Crown characterizes this as an act of extreme violence that brought about the worst possible consequences, that of the death of Mr. Laprise,” he said.

MacDonald also said there was no evidence of self-defence that would support this act.

MacDonald also told the court that Audette, who worked in the sex trade at the time of the killing, is not the victim, she was not hurt, and she was not sexually assaulted. The Crown also called the crime a “surprise stabbing” as he explained that Audette is a self-described rule-breaker and a fighter. MacDonald said Audette has a problem with authority and moved around a lot when she was a teenager when she got angry with her parents. He also said she has a pattern of violence to solve problems.

The court also heard that Audette had substance abuse issues and was using drugs leading up to the stabbing. MacDonald also pointed out that alcohol was a contributing factor in Laprise’s death but intoxication is not an excuse for murdering someone.

Audette admits to having anger problems.

At the conclusion of the submission, an emotional Audette apologized to the Laprise family, saying she regrets her actions every day.

“I regret this every day of my existence. I regret what has happened. I understand the severity of my actions. They haunt me day and night,” she said. “I take full responsibility for everything that has happened, and I am truly and deeply sorry.”

The defence lawyer for Audette, Laura Joy, is asking for a suspended sentence and three years probation.

Her case will return before Superior Court Justice Paul Kowalyshyn on December 15, 2021 to set a date for sentencing in the new year.