Teen who took part in fatal beating, shared video sentenced
Serena McKay, 19, was also known as Serenity to friends. (Source: Facebook)
Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, June 4, 2018 6:30PM EDT
WINNIPEG -- A teenage girl who took part in the fatal beating of a young woman and then shared video of the victim begging for her attackers to stop as she lay on the ground has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.
Her 40-month sentence is to be followed by two years of community supervision.
The sentence, which is close to the maximum for a youth convicted of second-degree murder, is warranted given the violent killing of Serena McKay, provincial court Judge Rocky Pollack said Monday.
"Serena's death came from a brutal assault," Pollack said in his sentencing decision.
"Serena McKay's life meant nothing to you," he told the girl, referring to the video recording of the beating.
"It was easier for you to shake off those images ... than it was for me."
The teen was 17 at the time of the attack and pleaded guilty in December. She cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. A co-accused girl, who was 16 at the time, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is to be sentenced later this month.
McKay's body was found on the Sagkeeng First Nation, about 120 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, in April 2017.
The 19-year-old had been at a house party when there was an argument that continued outside.
Two videos, which later circulated on social media, showed her being repeatedly hit while lying on the ground and begging for the beating to stop.
Court heard that the videos were filmed on the phone of the teen sentenced Monday and that she was the first person to text them to a friend.
Court was told the beating left McKay helpless and she died of hypothermia.
At a hearing in April, the teen apologized to McKay's family, saying she lives every day "with this guilt and this shame." She sat silently Monday as Pollack addressed her.
Outside court, McKay's mother said she was pleased with the sentence, which was just a few months shy of the maximum sought by the Crown. The defence had asked for one year in custody followed by community supervision.
"I've said it before that (Serena) didn't deserve what happened to her and that she was a wonderful girl. She was beautiful and she was kind and certainly this didn't have to happen to her," said Delores Daniels, who was surrounded by family and supporters wearing red T-shirts with a picture of her daughter.
"We know that she's in a better place and that she's free from all of the violence and the hatred and things that are still evident in society."
Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky said outside court his client feels remorse and is pleased the trial has ended.
"It's been a long time coming and she's happy that it's over."
The girl will get 15 months credit for time served since her arrest.