Date is to be set on November 2

The accused killers of Jack Beauchamp, president of Morbank Financial Inc., were set to be sentenced on Oct. 23, 2012. Robert Elliot Deer and Mohamed Ali Karim, appeared in front of Justice Beth Hughes at the Calgary Courts Centre.

Deer was convicted of manslaughter after hiring Karim, who was convicted of second-degree murder, to kill Jack Beauchamp.

 Deer and Beauchamp were doing business together when Deer became angered over a $16,000 fee he felt Beauchamp owed him. Deer says he then hired Karim, who was his landscaper, and gave him a gun with ammunition to scare Beauchamp. Karim ended up shooting him six times at Beauchamp’s office building on January 16, 2006.

Karim was originally convicted of first-degree murder, but in the re-trial was convicted with second-degree murder. Karim argued his intent was to scare Beauchamp, not kill him.

Both men were set to be sentenced on Oct. 23, but sentencing was postponed for both.

Karim’s defense attorney, Shamsher Kothari, said that because of the allegations of Robert Deer and Mohamed Karim appeared in front of Justice Hughes on Oct. 23, 2012 at the Calgary Courts Centre to be sentenced for the murder of Jack Beauchamp on Jan. 16, 2006.

Photo by Jessica Phillipsabuse towards Karim at the Calgary Remand Centre, the sentencing today was premature. He said what is on the videos is “quite concerning” and that more time will be needed to review the events recorded. Alleged abuse could potentially affect defence sentencing submissions.

Karim was then excused during Deer’s sentencing.

Deer’s defense lawyer, James Lutz, and the Crown Prosecutor, Mike Ewenson, each pleaded for different sentences for Deer.

The Crown asked for Deer to serve 16-18 years in prison, with time deducted from what he already served at the Calgary Remand Centre and the penitentiary. The Crown stated that while Deer did not intend for Karim to kill Beauchamp, they argued that he had to have known there was a possibility that the gun would’ve been put to use. He stated that

“He had hours to rethink this. He was very morally culpable for the death of Mr. Beauchamp,” said Ewenson. “In my view, he basically hired a hitman, even if he didn’t know what the hit would be.”

Defence lawyer Jim Lutz asked for eight years in prison for Deer. He disagreed with the Crown, and said Deer was not as deserving of blame for the murder of Beauchamp. He also wanted the court to grant Beauchamp “2-for-1 credit” for the six years he has already spent in remand and in the prison.

Justice Hughes said she was not ready to make a decision about Deer’s sentence.

Robert Deer, 52, apologized to the Beauchamp family in court on Friday Oct. 23, 2012.

Photo courtesy of Leah Hennel, Calgary HeraldThere were also victim impact statements read by Jack Beauchamp’s wife Deborah Beauchamp and co-worker, Judy Christianson. Statements were also read by the Crown on behalf of Beauchamp’s son, daughter and nephew.

As Deborah Beauchamp read her impact statement, the court was somber and many, including Deer, teared up, as she said, “I will never forget how you stole Jack from us. I can’t find words for the enormous grief and loss I’ve felt.”

After the proceedings were done, Deer made a tearful statement to the court, “I apologize to the Beauchamp family for my reckless actions. I’m sorry. If you can never forgive me I’ll understand.”

A new date will be set to sentence both men on Nov. 2, 2012.

epollock@cjournal.ca /jphillips@cjournal.ca