A Victoria man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after he pled guilty to one count of manslaughter in the stabbing death of 20-year-old Raphaël Bussières.
Just after midnight on Nov. 26, 2016, Justin Carte, who was high on drugs, ran into Bussières on Douglas St. The two men, unknown to each other, started rapping on the sidewalk and when Bussières and his friend turned to cross the street to McDonald’s, Carte followed.
After Carte put his hands on Bussières’ shoulders and the Quebec man asked him to stop, Carte stabbed him in the neck, severing his carotid artery before immediately fleeing the scene. He was arrested shortly before 2 a.m. at a downtown restaurant a few blocks away.
Bussières died in hospital, two days later.
At the time of the attack, Carte, who has struggled with a decade-long drug addiction, had only been released from jail two days earlier on Nov. 24, expressing a desire to seek treatment. The 28-year-old has a criminal record with 39 prior convictions, including 10 convictions for offences of a violent nature.
On Dec. 28, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten sentenced Carte to seven and a half years, less the 19 months already served awaiting trial.
In a victim impact statement presented in court, Bussières parents – who travelled from Quebec to deliver the statement in person – said Raphaël’s “tragic and senseless death at only 20 years of age has left a gaping hole in their lives.”