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Third man convicted in the 2017 killing north of Hope

Vancouver man Ryan Watts convicted of manslaughter for the murder of Alberta man Michael Bonin

All three men accused in the death of an Alberta man have been convicted as of Tuesday, Sept. 6.

On Aug. 31, Ryan Watt of Vancouver plead guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, minus time served, for the murder of 20-year-old Michale Bonin. He also received a lifetime firearm prohibition and must submit a sample of his DNA, according to B.C. Prosecution Service spokesperson Gordon Comer Watt.

He is the third man, along with Joshua Fleurant of Prince George, and Jared Jorgenson of Dawson Creek, to be convicted.

“This was an intricate case and we’re happy to see these men being held accountable for this horrible crime,” says Sergeant Timothy Pierotti of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) in a media release. “I’m proud of the work of the investigating team and their dedication to bringing justice for Mr. Bonin and his family.”

Bonin’s body was discoverd by a passerby on Peers Creek Forest Service road north of Hope in April 2017 and IHIT investigations revealed that all parties knew each other.

In January 2018, Watt, Fleurant, and Jorgenson were all arrested and charged with Bonin’s murder, and were accused of killing him and dumping his body on a forest service road off the Coquihalla Highway north of Hope. In May 2021, Flearant was was sentenced to life in prison without no chance for parole for 20 years for second-degree murder. In June of that same year, Jorgenson was sentenced to 252 days in prison with credit for time served.

All three men were known to B.C.’s RCMP. Watt was previously convicted of assault and possession of a scheduled substance for the purpose of trafficking. Bonin, who was from Rycroft, Alta., and Fleurant were also charged in relation to the same car theft.

Kemone Moodley

About the Author: Kemone Moodley

I began working with the Hope Standard on August 2022.
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