Repulse Bay woman pleads guilty to second-degree murder
Joyce Kringuk, 32, admits to the 2008 shooting of Joani Kringayark
(updated Nov. 6, 4:40 p.m.)
A Repulse Bay woman who shot and killed wildlife officer Joani Kringayark in 2008 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit Nov. 5.
Joyce Kringuk, 32, appeared in court before Justice Robert Kilpatrick in court, where she changed a not-guilty plea to guilty, avoiding a trial.
Kringuk admitted to killing Kringayark on the evening of Aug. 8, 2008 at his cabin near Repulse Bay.
According to an agreed statement of facts read in court, Kringuk and Kringayark had been sitting in the cabin, where they each drank half of a 40 ounce-bottle of Royal Reserve Whisky.
The two began arguing. Kringayark accused Kringuk of having sex with her father, and Kringayark shoved her.
Kringuk then left the room to retrieve a loaded, high-powered rifle that belonged to Kringayark.
The couple continued arguing. Kringayark stood close to a sink, while Kringuk stood near him.
Kringuk pointed the weapon above Kringayark’s head. With her eyes closed, she lowered the weapon and pulled the trigger.
When she opened her eyes, she saw Kringayark’s jaw attached to the rest of his body, which still stood upright.
The bullet had struck Kringayark’s head, shattering his skull.
“She knew that there was no possibility to miss him,” Crown prosecutor Jeanette Gevikoglu said Nov. 5 in court, reading from the statement of facts.
Kringayark’s fell to the floor, and Kringuk dropped to her knees beside him.
Meanwhile, Kringuk’s two daughters, aged two and seven, Julie-Anne and Madeline, screamed after they saw their father shot.
Kringuk gathered the children and left the cabin. She called for help on a citizen’s band radio at about 9 p.m., a message heard by a nephew of Kringayark, Chris Kringayark.
Chris Kringayark called for his other relatives, Mark and Allen Kringayark, who left immediately for the cabin.
RCMP also received an anonymous call at about 9 p.m. reporting the incident
When Mark and Allen Kringayark arrived at the cabin and saw their dead relative lying on the floor, they punched Kringuk in the face.
Kringuk admitted to police and family members that she killed him.
She’s been in custody ever since — for a total of just under four and a half years.
Kringuk did not say much during her appearance, only “yes, your honour” when asked if she knew what she pleaded to, and “guilty your honour” in a low tone when asked how she wanted to change her plea.
She also smiled politely to the crowded courtroom, where her family members sat staring at the floor and sometimes frowning.
Joani Kringayark, 47 at the time of his death, ran as a candidate in the 2004 Nunavut territorial election for the Akulliq constituency, finishing in fourth place with about 14 per cent of the vote.
Sentencing submissions were scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 6 at the Nunavut Court of Justice.
People convicted of second-degree murder must serve a mandatory prison sentence of life, and must serve at least 10 years before being eligible for parole.
Crown prosecutor Marian Bryant and defence lawyer Peter Harte said at the Nov. 6 sentencing submission that parole after 10 years of serving a life sentence would be appropriate.
Kilpatrick said he was going to reserve the sentencing decision for one or two weeks because he wanted to “think about my reasons.”