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Saskatchewan father who killed toddler sentenced to 16 years

A judge has sentenced a Saskatchewan father to 16 years for manslaughter in the beating death of his toddler.

Kaij Brass of Prince Albert, Sask., was given about three years credit for the time he has spent in pretrial custody.

An agreed statement of facts said the man repeatedly hit 13-month-old Tanner Brass on Feb. 10, 2022 which directly led to the child’s death.

The court heard Kaij Brass and the boy’s mother, Kyla Frenchman, got into a dispute on the night of the incident and Brass kicked her out of their home, causing the toddler to cry.

Brass spanked then hit the toddler on the chest and head out of frustration.

Court heard Brass was intoxicated at the time of the incident. He struck Tanner about seven or eight times. Brass saw Tanner was bleeding from the mouth and breathing heavily but thought he would be ok, so he went to sleep. When he woke up, Tanner was unresponsive.

Brass originally faced a second-degree murder charge, but pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter.

“I don’t think any sentence a court can impose is going to come near to the anguish he’s going through as a result of what happened,” Brass’ lawyer told reporters outside the Prince Albert court house.

Brass, along with his mother in the gallery, cried out as the judge read his decision.

Two Prince Albert police officers were later found to be in neglect of duty in their investigation into the baby’s death, following a review by the Public Complaints Commision.

After her dispute with Brass on the night of the incident, Frenchman left to go to a relative’s home. When she discovered her relative no longer lived there, she walked in the cold to the city’s RCMP detachment.

Not finding anyone to help her, Frenchman returned home at around 4:30 a.m. where she found Brass intoxicated with blood on him.

Around 5:50 a.m., Frenchman called police to the home.

According to the Public Complaints Commission report, the responding officers did not enter the home or check on the child. They took Frenchman to the police detention centre to wait for a ride to La Ronge, about 240 kilometres north of Prince Albert, leaving Brass alone at the house.

At around 10:45 a.m., Brass called 911 saying he had killed his baby. 

The responding officers were suspended from active duty following the incident. Prince Albert police Chief Jonathan Bergen, resigned after the release of the Public Complaints Commission report.

With files from Josh lynn and The Canadian Press.

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