(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Today in courtroom 303 Judge Burton was presiding over a manslaughter case that was scheduled for sentencing submissions, as the woman already plead guilty in September of this year.
Crown Attorney Rob Kozak and defence lawyer Gil Labine were also present.
TL;DR (SHORT VERSION)
Court started with the Crown Attorney reading in the alleged facts of the case, which we will summarize as Kirsten Wesley and Leslie Moonias were drinking, got in an argument and she reacted out of anger by plunging a knife into his chest, which cut his aorta.
His aorta spewed blood around his heart, and eventually caused his heart to stop under the pressure of the built-up blood, according to the doctor’s report.
The incident happened sometime before 9:30 pm on September 7th, 2016. Moonias was not noticed laying the front yard of a North McKellar Street home until around 8:00 am September 8th.
7 Victim impact statements were submitted, with some of them read into the court record at the request of the authors.
The joint submission was sent in that Wesley has already spent 22 months in jail, and that another 2 years less a day, less 70 days of pre-sentence custody is appropriate.
Judge Burton reserved her decision until 3:00 pm today or another day if she needs more time.
The courtroom was filled with family members, who were often bursting into tears.
Wesley plead guilty in March of 2018 in the killing of her boyfriend Leslie Noah Moonias, which was deemed a manslaughter. She also plead guilty to two breaches of her bail conditions.
Leslie Noah Moonias pictured above.
Police were called around 8:00 am regarding a report of a deceased male in the front yard of a North McKellar street home, they arrived around 8:10 am.
Superior North EMS paramedics advised the police officers on scene that the male, Leslie Noah Moonias was deceased. The coroner arrived and confirmed to police that the male was indeed deceased, and pointed out a stab wound to the right side of his chest. After the coroner completed his work, that allowed police to continue their investigation.
Police then began to canvass the area, speaking with neighbours asking what if anything they had heard overnight. Some people indicated that there was a disturbance in the front yard the night before.
It was determined that Moonias and Wesley were in a relationship with each other and that they were visiting each other on the front steps of the residence.
Alcohol was being consumed between the two of them, as well as some snacks.
One of Wesley’s friends told police that Wesley was mad at Moonias and wanted to leave the residence on North McKellar Drive to go to her friend’s place.
Wesley arrived at her friend’s place about 9:30 pm on September 7th, wearing specific clothing, which was a green plaid shirt. The shirt would later become of interest to the police.
Her friend told police that Wesley was intoxicated, and had spent the night there.
Around 2:40 pm on September 8th, 2018 police observed Wesley walking down Ogden Street. Police observed what appeared to be a blood-like substance on her jeans. She was taken into custody and her clothing was seized pending further examination by police.
Wesley gave a statement to police and said that she had been in a relationship with Moonias, that they were together on the evening of September 7th, they were consuming alcohol.
She further said that she had gotten mad at Moonias, and wanted to leave to go to her friend’s house. Admittedly she lost control and stabbed Moonias.
“I got pissed off and lost control for a second”
An officer asked Wesley what she is going to tell her daughter (who was 3 months old at the time of the incident) regarding the fact she killed her daughter’s father. Wesley said she is not going to lie to her daughter, and will tell her when she’s older.
Wesley told police she had a knife on her person to protect herself around Thunder Bay, but also stated that she was not afraid of Leslie Moonias.
A DNA report was submitted from the blood found on her left shoe and the sleeve area of her shirt, was confirmed to be the blood of Moonias.
The cause of death was from the knife cutting his aorta vessel, which caused blood to fill up the sack surrounding the heart. His heart stopped due to the pressure built up around his heart.
Moonias lost consciousness and died quickly.
Wesley was caught during her time at the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre with ingredients in her cell that are used to create “homebrew” alcohol, but she claims it was “for someone else”.
The Gladu report was submitted, but not much was read into the record about it. It is ordered sealed.
Defence lawyer Gil Labine states how Wesley was sexually assaulted as a child by not only her own family but by strangers in her home community of Mishkeegogamang.
From age 11 until she was arrested at 20 years old for the killing of Moonias, she has not had a period of sobriety, consistently consuming alcohol.
Wesley also has stated that she has had several relatives in the Residential School system.
VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENTS
7 Victim impact statements are submitted to the court, and some are read out loud by the crown, and two are read by the authors, one being Moonias’s mother, who states she forgives Wesley, and wants her to find healing, and be a good mother to her child.
Moonias’s mother tells Wesley that she loves her and prays for her.
Crying erupts randomly throughout the courtroom during the entire proceeding, as many family members are present during the sentencing.
The victim impact statements all state how Moonias was a calm, loving, caring person. It is said that he would play with the kids, help out family, and was a very loving father to his 3-month-old child.
It is very clear that he was an outstanding member of his family.
The Crown and the defence both submit that Wesley has been in custody for a total of 22-months, which is enhanced to 33-months.
Wesley has absolutely no criminal record before the events that unfolded on September 7th, 2016.
It is suggested that her sentence be time served plus 2 years less a day, less 69 days of pre-sentence custody.
This joint submission is taking into account that Moonias’s family wants her to get better and re-enter the family unit as the mother of her child.
The Crown also states that Wesley has taken criminal responsibility for the matter on September 8th, the day after she killed Moonias during her statement to police in where she admitted it.
She has shown immense remorse for the crime she has committed, according to defence counsel.
3 years of probation, after her custodial sentence is completed has been recommended.
Defence counsel requested she be sent to the Algoma Remand Treatment Center to address her substance abuse issues.
Her probation recommendations are:
- Reporting to her probation officer as required.
- During the first year to have a curfew
- Attend and cooperate with assessments and treatments for alcohol and substance abuse
- Attend all rehabilitative measures as directed by probation officer
- Not consume any drugs banned under the CDSA unless medically prescribed
- Reside at a residence approved by her probation officer
- She must continue her education or enter the workforce
- No weapons
Although alcohol was a factor, an alcohol prohibition is not being requested. The Crown says that she struggles with alcohol and hopes she continues her sobriety and does not want her to be in a breach situation if she does slip and drink. He further notes that if she drinks and does break the law or other conditions, she will be charged accordingly.
Judge Burton has accepted the joint submission. Wesley has another 22 months to be served, but will likely be released in 15 months.
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.