Ahousaht murder suspect gets 13 years for manslaughter

Ahousaht member Christopher Mathias Sam, 22, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for killing former Alberni resident Ray Samuel, 45.

An Ahousaht First Nation man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for manslaughter for the killing of a fellow tribe member last year.

Judge Allan Gould rendered the sentence Monday (Feb. 13) against Christopher Mathias Sam, 22, for killing Ray Samuel Junior, 45, in May of 2011.

Gould further sentenced Sam to three years for sexual assault causing bodily harm to a second victim involved in the same incident.

Sam is also required to submit samples of his DNA to the federal criminal data bank, as well as register as a sex offender for 20 years. Sam, who remains in custody but appeared in court, declined the opportunity to speak to the judge

Sam pleaded guilty to both charges. The Crown stayed charges of second degree murder, aggravated sexual assault and common assault.

The sentence suggestion was jointly submitted by provincial prosecutor Gordon Baines and defense counsel Clint Sadlemyer.

“This was a horrific, tragic brutal attack — there’s just no way around it,” Gould said.

Baines gave an accounting of the incident, which occurred in May 2011.

Sam was drinking alcohol with friends when they accepted an invitation from Samuel via VHF radio to continue drinking at his house.

Accompanied by a male and female, Sam made his way to Samuel’s house where they continued to drink alcohol and socialize. There was no animosity reported between Samuel and Sam, Baines said.

By midnight Samuel, Sam and the female passed out and the others left the house.

Some time later, Sam awoke, walked downstairs and retrieved a hatchet, which he then used to strike a still-sleeping Samuel multiple times.

The female awoke and saw that Samuel was bleeding heavily but still breathing. The woman scrambled to call for help over a VHF radio but Sam attacked her, saying “The devil told me to kill you just like he told me to kill him,” Baines read in the woman’s statement to police.

Sam repeatedly punched the woman in the face then began sexually assaulting her when Samuel’s son entered the room and intervened. The younger Samuel and Sam fought before Sam fled, disrobed below the waist, and was arrested by police a short time later.

Ray Samuel Junior was transported to hospital in Victoria where he died of his injuries.

The female victim continues to deal with her injuries and has suffered nerve damage to one side of her face, Baines said.

Sam said he had no recollection of the incident when he awoke in police custody, an assertion he continues to make, Sadlemyer said.

Sam didn’t have a lengthy record but “every offense committed is related to alcohol,” Baines said.

Families and a whole community are left to cope in the wake of the attack, Sadlemyer said. Ahousaht is layered with a cultural matrix of close family relationships, and the people involved in the incident are all related to one another. “The community is divided but the lines are blurred,” Sadlemyer said.

Once confronted with the facts, Sam pleaded guilty early in the process. “He’s taken responsibility for those acts,” Sadlemyer said. “He doesn’t know what to say other than to say sorry and that he wishes this never happened.”

Members from both families declined to comment.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Language revitalization pole to stay in Port Alberni

Strong community interest leads to change of plans, says First Nations Education Foundation

Salmon Fest derby ticket wins Alberni man $1,000

The last winner of the 48th Port Alberni Salmon Festival has finally… Continue reading

VIDEO: Frequent closures on only highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet expected to continue until Summer of 2020

“We’ve had 400 blasts to date and moved nearly 90,000 cubic metres of material.”

Man stabbed in Port Alberni park

RCMP dog team called out to search for attacker

Alberni business nominated for two Ecostar awards

Second year for Social Root Consulting to be nominated in Social Impact category

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read