Michael Bonin, 20, from Alberta, was discovered deceased on Peers Creek Forest Service Road north of Hope on April 20, 2017. (Black Press Media)

Michael Bonin, 20, from Alberta, was discovered deceased on Peers Creek Forest Service Road north of Hope on April 20, 2017. (Black Press Media)

One of three accused in 2017 Hope murder pleads guilty, sentenced to life in prison

Joshua Fleurant pleaded guilty in a Kelowna courtroom to the second-degree murder of Michael Bonin

One of the three men accused of killing an Alberta man and dumping his body on a forest service road off the Coquihalla Highway in 2017 has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Joshua Fleurant, 23, was initially charged with first-degree murder, alongside Jared Jorgenson, 30, and Ryan Watt, 29, after Michael Bonin’s body was found on Peers Creek Forest Service Road north of Hope in April 2017.

In a Kelowna courtroom on Monday, May 3, Fleurant pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder.

While a life sentence was a foregone conclusion due to the second-degree murder conviction, Crown and defence lawyers jointly recommended Fleurant serve 20 years before he is eligible for parole — five years less than if he had been convicted of first-degree murder.

The circumstances of the crime remain covered under a publication ban to protect the fairness of Jorgenson’s and Watt’s still upcoming trials.

Jorgenson’s second-degree murder trial is scheduled to take place later in May, while Watt is anticipated to stand trial by jury for first-degree murder in January 2022.

The publication ban covers all evidence presented until after Watt’s jury trial comes to a close.

READ MORE: Men accused in Michael Bonin’s murder knew him: IHIT

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme Courtmurder trial