The victim of a brutal October 2015 beating died simply because he had tried to save his killer’s life earlier on the day he was killed, a Manitoba judge said on Tuesday morning.
James Jarrow, 48, was sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars for manslaughter in the death of Walter Lavasseur, 56, in a Higgins Avenue hotel room.
“There is no excuse for what you did, but neither is there a good explanation for what happened,” Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Chris Martin said during Tuesday’s sentencing.
Lavasseur and Jarrow had known each other for about 10 years and had previously shared apartments. They were both living in the Mount Royal Hotel in different rooms in 2015 and had spent many nights drinking together, court heard.
On Oct. 11, 2015, Jarrow had been drinking with a woman and became unconscious. She tried to wake him but the woman eventually went to Lavasseur’s room to get help.
Lavasseur and the woman tried again to wake Jarrow, even attempting to lift him and eventually dropping him on the floor, but when he remained unresponsive they called hotel staff to get paramedics, court heard.
‘[Walter Lavasseur] is going to be missed by me as well. He was a friend of mine.’
– James Jarrow
Paramedics arrived and Jarrow eventually woke up. But he was incensed that someone had come into his room, court heard. Only 10 minutes after paramedics left he angrily made his way to Lavasseur’s room one floor above in the hotel, court heard.
Crown prosecutor Deann Sahulka showed court four short videos of security camera footage from the hallway outside Lavasseur’s room. She described how Jarrow went to Lavasseur’s room in a “rage.”
Jarrow first confronted Lavasseur in the hallway and eventually forced Lavasseur into his room, court heard, where he started to beat him.
The video showed Jarrow leaving the room, closing the door behind him. He went back to his room, Sahulka said, but was still full of anger and decided…