A man has been sentenced to an additional nine years in prison for strangling and killing David Delaney in his Abbotsford apartment in February 2016.
Justice Martha Devlin sentenced Shayne McGenn, 36, to a 10-year term for manslaughter on Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, but he was given almost a full year’s credit for time already served.
Co-accused Sarah Sather, 35, was previously acquitted of a charge of accessory after the fact.
Delaney, 63, was discovered dead in the bedroom of his fourth-floor suite in the Aspen Court apartment building on Center Street in Abbotsford on Feb. 23, 2016.
He had been strangled with a belt by McGenn either late on the evening of Feb. 6 or the early morning of Feb. 7 after the two got into an argument, according to evidence presented in court.
McGenn and Delaney knew each other because Delaney had previously been in a common-law relationship with McGenn’s mother.
According to evidence presented in court, McGenn moved into Delaney’s apartment in August 2015 and obtained a job at Big River Restaurant and Taphouse in Coquitlam, where Delaney was a manager.
Delaney fired McGenn in early 2016 due to concerns about his drug use at the restaurant.
In late January 2016, Sather and the child she had with McGenn also moved into the apartment.
Court documents state that McGenn, who was in the midst of a drug addiction, borrowed money from Delaney and some of his co-workers to finance his drug habit.
McGenn also used Delaney’s credit card without permission, and this created further financial problems for Delaney, the documents state.
The relationship deteriorated to the point where Delaney intended to ask McGenn, Sather and their child to leave their apartment.
During an argument between the two, McGenn attacked Delaney with a frying pan and a knife, kneed him in the head several times, and strangled him with his belt.
The Crown alleged that Sather helped destroy evidence afterwards, including cleaning a knife and wiping up bloody water in the bathroom, where McGenn had showered after the offence.
The pair and their child remained in the apartment for five days after the killing, and McGenn used Delaney’s car, debit card and cellphone, according to evidence presented in court.
McGenn also posed as Delaney when he sent text messages to Delaney’s family, friends and co-workers after he had killed him.
McGenn had originally been charged with second-degree murder, but Devlin said the Crown did not prove that he intentionally caused Delaney’s death – McGenn testified he had only meant to subdue him – and found him guilty in September of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Also in September, Sather was acquitted of her charge, with Devlin saying she didn’t believe that Sather had cleaned up the bathroom and washed the knife to help McGenn escape liability for the killing.
The judge said that statements Sather had made prior to the trial indicate she had cleaned up the bathroom because it was “messy and wet” after McGenn showered, and she washed the knife as part of her routine of washing the dishes.
“I find that there is an innocent explanation for Ms. Sather’s actions and nothing in the evidence to establish that she also intended to assist Mr. McGenn in evading liability for the murder of Mr. Delaney,” Devlin said at the time.
McGenn and Sather were both arrested in May 2016 in Penticton, where they had gone – in Delaney’s car – several days after the murder.
In April of this year, McGenn was sentenced for an unrelated 2014 robbery at a Penticton pharmacy. He wore a bandana over his face and carried a fake gun in that incident, and, after credit for time already served, he was sentenced to an additional two years and 11 months in jail.
McGenn’s manslaughter sentence will begin after that term is served.