Dad jailed in daughters' freezing deaths gets release
Father Christopher Pauchay (left to right), Santana Pauchay, Tracey Jimmy and Kaydance Pauchay are shown in a family photo. The father whose two young daughters froze to death when he took them outside in a blizzard will face an aboriginal sentencing circle, Wednesday Jan. 7, 2009. (Troy Fleece / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:49AM EST
REGINA - A Saskatchewan man whose drunken behaviour led to the freezing deaths of his two young daughters was to be released from prison Tuesday.
Christopher Pauchay has served two-thirds of the nearly three-year sentence he received in the deaths of Kaydance, 3, and Santana, 1, meaning he is eligible for statutory release.
Pauchay pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death after he stumbled drunk from his home on the Yellow Quill First Nation and lost the girls in a blizzard in January 2008.
Court was told Pauchay had been drinking and didn't remember much about what happened. He did recall that one of his girls was hurt and he needed to get help, but once outside, the girls became separated from their father. A neighbour later found Pauchay on her front doorstep.
He was "slobbering, disoriented and foaming at the mouth," recounted Parole Board of Canada documents.
Pauchay was taken to hospital suffering from severe frostbite and hypothermia. Eight hours later, when he was able to speak, he asked about his children.
That set off a frantic search which ended when the girls, clad only in diapers and T-shirts, were found dead under snowdrifts. Both girls died of hypothermia. An autopsy found the oldest girl had a small cut on her leg.
During sentencing in March 2009, Judge Barry Morgan acknowledged Pauchay's anguish over the loss of his girls and said he hoped the young father could get some help.
The parole board noted Pauchay's long history of substance drug and alcohol abuse as well as a criminal record involving domestic violence. But the board also said Pauchay has taken substance abuse and family violence programs while in prison, and "demonstrated significant understanding in the factors that contributed to (his) criminal offending."
"You possess the perseverance and determination to make positive changes and the ability to make realistic and achievable goals," the board wrote.
The board imposed special conditions for Pauchay, including that he abstain from alcohol and drugs and report any relationships with women to his parole supervisor.
Pauchay told the board that he plans to live at a halfway house in another community.
"You feel this will give you a chance to start over without the pressures you would undoubtedly be under if you returned to your small home community," the documents stated.
The documents did not indicate where Pauchay will live.
Pauchay's sentence will end Jan. 25, 2012, at which point neither the Parole Board of Canada nor Corrections Canada will have any jurisdiction over him.