Murder charge reduced, M’Chigeeng duo sentenced to crime of manslaughter in Shane Beboning killing

by Stacey Lavallie

GORE BAY—Two men were sentenced last Friday for their part in the 2010 death of M’Chigeeng man Shane Beboning.

The two cousins, Marlon and Michael Migwans, both pled guilty to a charge each of manslaughter. Crown Attorney Stacy Haner withdrew a second-degree murder charge.

The specifics of the incident that led to Mr. Beboning’s death are under a court-ordered publication ban as the third accused, Wayne Migwans, is still to go before the courts.

The two cousins appeared before regional senior Justice Louise Gauthier on September 23. The two were sentenced separately, with Marlon Migwans appearing first.

Michael Haraschuk, Marlon Migwans counsel, told the court Marlon Migwans has shown regret and responsibility for his part in Mr. Beboning’s death. The father of two young girls is also participating in counselling for emotional and addictions issues and has used his time behind bars to further his education.

Ms. Haner told the court that, in seeking a sentence, the court must consider that incident took place inside a private home, where one expects security.

Several family and friends of the victim submitted victim impact statements to the court, but none were given verbally to the court.

For his role in the murder, Marlon Migwans was sentenced to four years, less time served, for a total of 10 months. He is also required to provide a sample to the national DNA databank and is prohibited from owning firearms for life.

Ms. Haner told the court that the second cousin, Michael Migwans, had a more involved role in the death. He also showed a lack of understanding of the seriousness of the situation. Since his arrest and incarceration, Michael Migwans had also incurred five misconducts, including ones for trying to obtain contraband. At the time of the incident, Michael Migwans was also on probation.

Justice Gauthier, after considering the impact statements and Michael Migwans role and behaviour, sentenced him to six-and-a-half years, less time served, for a total of three years and four months. He is also required to provide a sample to the DNA databank and is prohibited from owning firearms for life.

Because of the length of his sentence, Michael Migwans is not subject to probation after his time in a penitentiary is complete. However, Justice Gauthier recommended similar conditions to Marlon Migwans probation be put forward for consideration on parole.

After sentencing, Jane Migwans, sister to the victim, said she wasn’t really satisfied with the sentence. “(Marlon Migwans) has no choice to improve himself,” she said. “He has to try to pull his life back together. I’ll never be able to forgive him. Nothing will ever bring my brother back.”

That emotion was present in the courtroom as Justice Gauthier handed down the sentences, with crying and sniffling heard from the family present.

“There are no words are sufficient to describe the impact on the families,” Justice Gauthier said. “Nothing I or anyone in this room today can do will bring back Shane Beboning or turn back time.”

Both Marlon and Michael Migwans took a moment to address the family and friends of the victim. “I wish I could go back and do things different,” Michael Migwans said. “I’m sorry.”

Mr. Beboning’s mother, Patricia Beboning, spoke to The Expositor after the first sentencing.

“I think the sentence is fair,” she said. “I feel sorry for him but I don’t think I’ll ever forgive (Marlon Migwans). It’s been awful without Shane. I can’t eat and I can’t sleep. My health isn’t great. I have no hope anymore. He was my future, my baby.”

At present, none of the allegations have been proven in court. Wayne Migwans’ court date has yet to be set.