Charlotte Lafferty’s murderer will serve his time in the federal prison system.
Keenan McNeely, now 21, received a life sentence in April for the brutal sexual assault and murder of Charlotte Lafferty in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., in 2014. He has since filed an appeal of the conviction and sentencing.
Lafferty was 23 at the time, and the mother of three boys.
In a placement hearing at the end of August, McNeely’s lawyer made the case that McNeely should serve his life sentence in a Northern facility.
In court on Tuesday, Justice Louise Charbonneau, said this was a very unusual request — she said it was the first hearing of its kind in the Northwest Territories, and she had no precedent to work with.
Normally, a life sentence would be served at a federal facility. There are no federal facilities in the territories, meaning that McNeely would need to be transferred to a southern penitentiary.
But McNeely’s lawyer had argued McNeely’s rehabilitation would be better served if he stayed in the North, closer to home, family and culture.
The judge did not discount the potential value of McNeely staying in the North, but she said McNeely needs the kind of intense, long-term and consistent psychological treatment only available in the federal system.
During the placement hearing in August, the court heard from the warden of the North Slave Correctional Centre in Yellowknife that the jail system in the North is designed for sentences of two years less a day, not a life sentence with a ten year minimum.
‘Profoundly disturbing’ circumstances