Kale Gabriel must serve a minimum of 13 years in prison for the murder of Ryan White in north-end Halifax in 2010.
Today, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice imposed the period Gabriel must serve before he can begin applying for parole.
But Justice Jamie Campbell stressed Gabriel has a life sentence.
“Kale Gabriel will never be a free man,” Campbell said in his decision.
“He will never experience freedom in the way that others do.”
In addition to his prison sentence, Gabriel faces a lifetime weapons ban and a sample of his DNA goes in a national data bank.
He’s asked that he be able to serve his sentence in an Ontario prison so he can be closer to family.
Gabriel, 28, was convicted of second-degree murder more than a year ago at a judge and jury trial. His sentencing had been delayed while special assessments were prepared.
Gabriel identifies as both African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq. Two separate cultural assessments were prepared to look at whether his ethnic background should have any impact on the sentence he receives.
Assessments for Indigenous people, known as Gladue reports after a Supreme Court of Canada decision by that name, are fairly common. An assessment of a person’s African heritage is relatively new and uncommon.
“I think the decision makes it clear that people of African Nova Scotian descent, while not recognized by the constitution, is definitely a distinct group of people that the judiciary needs to look at in a unique way,” Gabriel’s lawyer, Geoff Newton, said outside court.
A need for deterrence
Campbell said both assessments were helpful to his consideration, but they didn’t make it any easier. In the end, the judge cited a need for deterrence in settling on the 13-year minimum.
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