Crown and defence are asking for a nine-year prison term for a man who attacked a fellow inmate in the weight room at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre almost three years ago.
Alexander Dinu Tanasescu, 30, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Blair Thomas Cody.
A sentencing hearing was held Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
Within hours of arriving at the Maple Ridge jail on May 19, 2010, to begin serving a four-month jail sentence, Cody came across Tanasescu in the weight room.
In a surveillance video that caught the interaction between the two, Cody walked up to Tanasescu, touched him on the shoulder and the two spoke briefly.
Then, Tanasescu punched Cody in the face. The blow caused Cody to fall to the floor and Tanasescu kicked him 10 times and punched him in the head five times.
Tanasescu turned and walked away, but returned seconds later to continue the beating. He jumped in the air and stomped on Cody’s face, then punched and kicked him four more times.
The attack lasted less than a minute and left Cody, 36, unconscious in a pool of blood. Cody was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital and treated for head and neck injuries. He remained in a persistent vegetative state until he died in a Langley hospice more than 10 months after the beating.
Crown prosecutor Andrew Blunt said the incident involved a “ferocious and unrestrained level of violence.”
Defence lawyer Sheldon Tate said Tanasescu was initially provoked by Cody, who had issued a challenge by calling Tanasescu a “goof.” Tate said Cody also had a reputation for violence, which Tanasescu knew about, and pointed to Cody’s criminal and institutional records.
Although Crown and defence agree a nine-year prison sentence is appropriate, the two sides disagree on how much credit Tanasescu should be given for time already spent in custody. Outside court, Stacey Cody said she and her family knew her brother “was not a poster child for the Cub Scouts,” but he didn’t deserve to die the way he did.
“No matter what you’re inside for, you’re still a human being and you have family outside who cares for you and loves you,” Stacey said.
– Jennifer Saltman is a reporter with The Province