More than three years after Barbara Kentner's death, her sisters are hoping for justice in a case that hundreds of First Nations chiefs from across the country see as a test of Canada's commitment to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Kentner, a year-old mother and member of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, died nearly six months after being struck by a trailer hitch thrown at her from a passing car. The charge against Brayden Bushby, 21, was reduced from second-degree murder to manslaughter and aggravated assault earlier this year, sparking outrage from First Nations leaders. There is no mandatory minimum sentence for manslaughter in Canada unless it involves a firearm. If convicted, Bushby could face a sentence ranging from probation to life in prison. It's hard to explain your sister, you know?
I don't understand why it would be something different. Sure, she probably had health issues before that, but that's not the initial cause of her death.
Trial underway in trailer-hitch death of First Nations woman
It was the trailer hitch. CBC News asked Bushby's defence lawyer, George Joseph, for comment on the case in advance of the trial.
No comment was offered before publication time. Bushby was first charged with aggravated assault in February The charges were upgraded to second-degree murder after Barbara died and then reduced in September. The date for the trial has also been delayed several times and was finally set to begin in October when a fire resulted in the closure of the Thunder Bay courthouse.
The case is now being heard in the old courthouse, which had been converted into a hotel. The lengthy wait has put a strain on the family, including Barbara's year-old daughter, Serena, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
Melissa said, "I want closure, so I'm able to get on with my life and get the help that I need. She said she put off mental health counselling because the counsellor told her that her notes could be subpoenaed for the trial. The case is "indicative of how brutally this delay of justice, this racism injustice, all of these things just exhaust people, and it makes it really hard to remain actively engaged and rightfully outraged," said Riley Yesno, an Indigenous rights activist and research fellow at Ryerson University's Yellowhead Institute.
The trailer hitch that struck Barbara Kentner in the abdomen was exhibit number one in the manslaughter trial of Brayden Bushby, the man who threw it at her from a passing car in January Add some personality to your truck with Zazzle's Girls trailer hitch covers. Protect your Girls tow hitch in style with our great designs! Shop today! ck out our girl trailer hitch selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops
For Yesno, the case also highlights the importance of the recommendations that the government has yet to act on from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, especially when it comes to more serious consequences for perpetrators of violence. The trial could mark a turning point in Thunder Bay's history, Yesno said, an opportunity to change "all these narratives of Thunder Bay being this hostile and horrible place for Indigenous people to live" by showing support and care for the Kentner family.
Barbara's sisters said they hope the whole city learns from it that the consequences of hate are deadly. It's just the way this community proceeded.
It's all about hate," Connie said. The trial, by judge alone, begins Monday and is expected to take four days.
Kentner and her older sister, Melissa, had been walking alongside of a residential road in Thunder Bay on Jan. 29, shortly after 1 a.m. when she was struck in the abdomen by a Kentner, a year-old mother and member of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, died nearly six months after being struck by a trailer hitch thrown at her from a passing car. The charge against Brayden Shop Girl Boss Trailer Hitch Cover created by MistressCarla. Personalize it with photos & text or purchase as is! Girl Boss Trailer Hitch Cover. Girl Boss Trailer Hitch Cover 50 Off Mugs, Ornaments, Stockings & More Shop Now > Use Code: BESTZAZGIFTS *details 40 Off
Bushby has pleaded not guilty. Thunder Bay Trial begins for Thunder Bay man accused in trailer-hitch death of First Nations woman More than three years after Barbara Kentner's death, her sisters are hoping for justice in a case that hundreds of First Nations chiefs from across the country see as a test of Canada's commitment to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Jody Porter Posted: Nov 02, AM ET Last ated: November 2, Acting police chief, city councillors among attendees at funeral for First Nations woman hit by trailer hitch. Melissa posted on Facebook early Tuesday that Barbara had died. She and other family members confirmed the death with CBC News.
The passenger in the car yelled, "Oh, I got one," after throwing the hitch at the sisters who were walking on McKenzie Street between Dease and Cameron streets, Melissa Kentner told CBC News in February. The internal damage when Kentner was hit in the kidneys by the hitch was irreparable and proved fatal, her sister said.
Brayden Bushby, 18, was charged with aggravated assault relating to the incident. Thunder Bay police told CBC News they are looking into whether the charges will be changed, in light of Kentner's death.
Thunder Bay First Nations woman dies after being hit by trailer hitch thrown from passing car in Thunder Bay, Ont. Social Sharing.