ST. PAUL - One of the two people found guilty of first degree murder in relation to the 2018 death of Lindsay Jackson has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Julian Catalin Whiskeyjack and Jena Lynn Hunter were both found guilty of first degree murder following a trial by jury in St. Paul in March of this year. Whiskeyjack was sentenced on Monday afternoon.
Before Justice R. Paul Belzil delivered Whiskeyjack's sentence, it was noted that Hunter's sentencing would not occur as originally scheduled because Hunter had requested a Gladue report, which is a report that looks at an Indigenous person's background and history before a sentencing takes place.
Lindsay, 25, was last seen on Sept. 22, 2018. She was reported missing shortly after. On Oct. 3, 2018, RCMP confirmed they had found Lindsay's body in the North Saskatchewan river, near Duvernay.
One victim impact statement was read out loud by Jackson's aunt, Andrea Jackson, during the July 26 sentencing. Andrea described how she now cares for Lindsay's children, and spoke to how difficult it has been for the family.
Andrea says she's witnessed how sad the children are when they watch other families together, and acknowledged she will never be able to replace their mother.
"All I can do is pray for all of us," said Andrea.
Whiskeyjack did not speak during the sentencing. Along with the life sentence, he will also be subject to providing a DNA sample and a lifetime weapons ban.
Although Whiskeyjack did not seek a Gladue report, it was noted that he has many family members who attended residential school, and both his parents died before he was an adult.
Belzil spoke briefly as he delivered Whiskeyjack's sentence, saying the murder of Lindsay Jackson involved an "appalling" level of violence, and has left her children orphaned. Nothing said or done can reduce the pain that Lindsay's family feels, but Belzil said he hopes delivering the sentence would provide some closure.
This type of violence must be condemned by society, said Belzil, adding, "This was a very difficult trial."
A third person was also charged in relation to Lindsay's death, but was found not guilty following a separate trial by judge, this spring.
On June 29, a decision was delivered by Justice Larry Ackerl and Jermaine Eugene Steinhauer was found not guilty of first degree murder.