A Vernon man found guilty of stabbing two brothers in the neck with a knife was expected to be handed his sentence Friday, but the hearing was adjourned due to a lack of medical records of the offender.
Samule McIntosh was found guilty by a jury on May 14, 2019 of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. The charges stem from an incident on Aug. 28, 2016, when McIntosh stabbed Dayton Martens during an altercation near the now demolished Civic Arena in downtown Vernon and his brother, Dakota Martens, shortly after. McIntosh was homeless at the time.
Defence lawyer Ray Dieno submitted to Justice Murray Blok that a medical report for McIntosh, who is in a wheelchair, would be needed in order to weigh the physical toll he would endure in jail before a sentence length could be fairly determined.
With much reluctance and regret at this left turn in the daylong proceedings, Justice Blok ultimately agreed.
“The very unfortunate result is that I conclude that I do not have the information I feel I need to properly assess Mr. McIntosh’s circumstances,” he said.
“I say that with great regret,” Justice Blok continued. “This is far from an ideal manner in which to (handle) any case, let alone a case of such seriousness.”
McIntosh stabbed Dayton in the neck area and subsequently stabbed his brother Dakota in a similar area in what the Crown is calling two separate incidents. McIntosh has previously admitted to both stabbings.
“Dayton’s injuries were very serious and life-threatening,” said McPheeters. “The main wound ran from the base of his skull to his upper back, 15 centimetres in length and gaping open 10 centimetres. It was also four centimetres deep.”
The wound was so deep that it exposed the bones of Dayton’s spine, and the attending physician said he would have bled to death if not for the medical attention he received. Dayton also suffered two other less severe wounds. Dakota suffered one wound that was less severe than his brother’s.
McIntosh said he stabbed the brothers out of self-defence after having been provoked. Neither Crown nor defence have been able to agree on the precise details of the events.
The Crown has asked for three-and-a-half to four years in jail and a lifetime prohibition on owning weapons.
McIntosh — who appeared at the Vernon Law Courts an hour late after sleeping in — was struck by a car in November 2017 that has left him in a wheelchair. His injury is the basis for the defence’s argument that his medical condition needs to be weighed in the sentencing.
McPheeters argued an adjournment had already taken place in August for “the express purpose of obtaining medical information.”
“It appears it’s at least possible he’s putting off going to jail,” she said of McIntosh, who was told by his defence to seek a medical report.
McPheeters said she opposed but “understands” the decision to adjourn once more.
Justice Blok left it to the defence to sort out who will provide the medical report of McIntosh and who will pay for it. Dieno said McIntosh has struggled to find a family doctor who could conduct such a report. Justice Blok later wondered if McIntosh’s physiotherapist couldn’t be used for the purpose, or any of the physicians who attended to him after his car accident.
McIntosh has 89 days of jail time to his credit for time spent in custody, according to McPheeters.
A date for the sentencing will be fixed on Nov. 18. Justice Blok requested a two-day hearing for the remainder of the sentencing.