Alberni man sentenced for 2006 killing

Former Alberni resident Donald Nagel has been sentenced to two years in prison for the killing of Michael Scott Cowley in 2006.

A provincial court judge sentenced a former Port Alberni resident to two years in prison for a manslaughter that occurred while he was living in the city more than five years ago.

Judge Eldon Iverson sentenced Donald Nagel, 37, to two years in prison and two years of probation for the manslaughter of Michael Scott Cowley in 2006.

Nagel pleaded guilty in June 2011.

Provincial prosecutor Gordon Baines sought a two-year sentence while defense lawyer Clint Sadlemyer asked the court for a conditional sentence.

A conditional sentence would not endanger the community, but it would also not be consistent with the fundamental principles of sentencing, Iverson said.

“In my view a conditional sentence in this case would not contribute to respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society.”

Nagel had elected to have his case heard by a provincial court judge instead of a jury in January 2011.

According to information given to the court, Nagel was living in Brooks, Alta. when he was apprehended by police in 2010 and returned to Port Alberni to face the charge.

Nagel was released on $50,000 bail in September 2010.

Nagel was charged with the crime after confessing during an undercover police operation, which started in 2009, Baines said.

Nagel said he was a drug enforcer and targeted Cowley over a drug debt when he ambushed him with a two-by-four in an alley in Port Alberni.

Cowley managed to make it back into his residence, but was discovered by residents after he failed to appear during the day. An autopsy subsequently revealed that he died of a subdural hematoma.

Nagel was living in Port Alberni when Cowley died but moved to Alberta after the incident.

Investigators from the RCMP E Division major crime section and Port Alberni RCMP office worked on the case for four years, their efforts culminating in the manslaughter charge.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com