deadmonton 2005 - adrian vern jacobs

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Adrian Vern Jacobs, 33, was stabbed to death September 20th, 2005.

Benjamin Shane Nepoose, 19, and Adam Michael Scoville, 18, were charged with second-degree murder and possession of a weapon. A 13-year-old young offender was charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon.

Police Line: Do Not Cross

Summer closed out with a fatal stabbing and a near fatal beating that occurred just moments and blocks apart.

Police were first called to the Cromdale Liquor store at 11717 82 Street to investigate an assault on a woman. The woman, in her early 20s, was rushed to the Royal Alexandra Hospital with severe head injuries and seven stab wounds to the chest.

A cinder block was used in the attack and the woman suffered cardiac arrest on the way to hospital. Police described her injuries as potentially life-threatening.

Moments later, police at the scene were notified by a passerby that a man was lying face down on the curb near 115th Avenue and Fort Road, a location less than ten blocks away from the first incident.

When police arrived they discovered the shirtless body of Adrian Jacobs who had sufferred several stab wounds to his arms and upper body. Jacobs was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

A police dog team and the Air-1 helicopter was dispatched, and police followed a blood trail south on 85th Street in an effort to determine where the stabbing took place.

Police were seeking a man and a woman (possibly a cousin) who were seen accompanying the female victim at the time of her assault. The man may have received injuries after being struck by a piece of the brick that was used during the incident.

Poice held a man for questioning in connection with the murder of the thirty-three-year-old construction worker. The person of interest was detained after a brief foot chase and was found hiding in an area yard. Police said a knife was recovered.

On September 22nd, 2005 police announced the arrests of two young adult males and a male juvenile in connection with both incidents. The suspects were well known to police who described them as "vicious cowards."

Jacobs was the city's 28th homicide of 2005, tying a record set in 2004 and 1990.

Charged with second-degree murder and possession of a weapon were Benjamin Shane Nepoose, 19, and Adam Michael Scoville, 18.

A 13-year-old boy, whose name cannot be published because of his age, was charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon. The charges related to both attacks. On October 12th, the boy was additionally charged with second-degree murder.

The trio were known associates of a young offender charged with the murder of Earl Gambler on August 7, 2005. Jacobs and Gambler both grew up on the Calling Lake reserve, about 186 kilometres north of Edmonton.

In a further irony, Jacobs and the female assault victim, Tanya Powder, 21, were cousins.

On June 5th, 2006 the youth pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received the maximum sentence of two years in custody followed by one year of supervision.

On July 10th, 2006 Benjamin Shane Nepoose and Adam Michael Scoville appeared in court for what was scheduled to be a preliminary hearing for their second-degree murder and possession of a weapon charges.

Instead, the pair pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Nepoose also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

According to an agreed statement of facts read in court, Nepoose, Scoville and a 13-year-old boy encountered their first victim of the night, Tanya Powder, outside the Cromdale liquor store around 10 p.m. Along with Jeremy Nahbexie they had already consumed three 40-ounce bottles of Old English Malt liquor and some Valium or Tylenol-4s.

Nepoose was carrying a broken cinder block saying “nobody can mess with us now.”

Powder argued with the men, hitting the boy in the face. Nepoose struck her on the head with the block and the boy stabbed her four times after Nepoose told him to "stab her." Court heard Nahbexie left after the attack began.

Powder had a heart attack on the scene, and spent almost a month in hospital with a collapsed lung, fractured sinus bones, concussion and stab wounds to the chest and armpit.

Half an hour later, Nepoose, Scoville and the youth exchanged words with Adrian Jacobs as they walked on opposite sides of 85th Street near 115th Avenue.

After they met in the middle of the road, the group kicked, punched and stabbed Jacobs 21 times with two different knives.

Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Wheaton said in court, “It’s obvious the accused were walking around that evening armed and looking for trouble. Mr. Jacobs was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Both the Crown and the defence agreed that alcohol and drugs were a factor in the slaying, and Wheaton conceded the pair were too drunk and high on prescription drugs to form the intent to kill required for a murder conviction.

Describing the killing as a “near-murder,” Wheaton said Nepoose should receive a 12 to 14 year prison sentence, while Scoville should get a 12-year term.

“This was a very violent, brutal, three-on-one attack on a dark street. They essentially went out, got drunk and then went roaming the streets with weapons.”

Defence lawyers Peter Royal and Darcy Depoe argued Nepoose and Scoville should receive sentences of less than 10 years, saying they deserve credit for pleading guilty and being young.

“This is not a young man that we need yet give up on,” Royal said about Nepoose. “Hopefully, he will make good use of his time in the federal penitentiary service and better himself.”

Scoville apologized to Jacobs’ relatives at the hearing, telling them “it’s very depressing to wake up in morning and have it on your mind that you took another man’s life.”

Speaking to media outside court, Jacobs’ sister Carol called the pair “savages” for what they did. Another sister, Shannon, said she still doesn’t think they understand how they’ve hurt her family.

“I felt a little sorry for them because they’re so young. I guess life has to teach them a lesson.”

On July 28th, 2006 provincial court judge Clayton Spence handed down his sentencing decision.

Benjamin Shane Nepoose received a nine-year prison sentence for the manslaughter of Jacobs and two years for the aggravated assault on Powder.

Adam Michael Scoville was sentenced to nine years on the manslaughter charge.

Both had their sentences reduced 2-for-1 for ten months served in the Edmonton Remand Centre.

That shaved 20 months off both sentences, leaving Nepoose with nine years and four months, and Scoville with seven years and four months.

Judge Spence, describing the sentences as "substantial," said he was being lenient because of their guilty pleas, young age and "to not crush the spirit of the accused."

"Both offences were against strangers and it was an attack of two or three on one. They involved senseless ... gratuitous criminal activity," Spence said.

Spence hoped Nepoose and Scoville could be rehabilitated and still lead productive lives

Speaking to media outside court, Adrian's sisters Shannon and Carol Jacobs said the prison terms weren't long enough.

"It's shocking. We expected 12 to 14 years. Ten is not enough," said Carol.

Shannon echoed the comments, saying she hoped for the maximum punishment possible.

"They took away my brother's life."

The sisters vowed to check on the two at their parole hearings to ensure they improve themselves.

"I would like to see they have changed in seven years," said Shannon. "They will be 27. They're young guys. Hopefully, they will grow up a little."

Once Nepoose and Scoville are released, Carol doubts their lives will be easy.

"They will never have a future. They will always have this in the back of their minds ... hopefully, young people will learn from this."