Guthro pleads guilty 0
Negotiations at the eleventh hour have resulted in a guilty plea to second-degree murder and eliminated the need for a three-week trial.
On Monday, after potential jurors in the case against Ryan Guthro, 27, were dismissed and asked to return to the courthouse in Pembroke Wednesday, counsel continued discussions which led to a deal and resulted in the plea. Around 3 p.m. Mr. Guthro appeared before Justice Thomas McNamara and pleaded guilty to second degree murder.
Visiting Crown attorney Peter Barnes read in a statement of facts which will make up part of the sentencing hearing, which continues on Oct. 11, 2012.
Mr. Guthro’s plea relates to the death of Ashley Commanda, 35, of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. On Sept. 19, 2009, the Killaloe detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police was called to a residence in Golden Lake about a disturbance and found a male lying in the street. Mr. Commanda was rushed to the Pembroke Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Mr. Guthro has been in custody since the day of the murder.
The sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Oct. 11, 2012.
Tina Peplinskie is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist