Virgil Hummingbird Thomas has been charged with manslaughter in relation to a death on Tache Reserve. Thomas appeared briefly in court on April 24, and will be remanded in custody.
His next court appearance is scheduled for May 22, and will take place via video conferencing. The charge is related to a death on the Tache Reserve on April 21.
On the morning of April 21, RCMP were called to the Tache Reserve, northwest of Fort St. James, to a report of an unresponsive male. RCMP arrived to find a deceased adult male outside of a home who has since been identified as Alfred Joseph Jr. of Tache.
Family of both the accused and the deceased at the courthouse said both the men were known to each other and one relative described them as friends. The death of Joseph was ruled a homicide by RCMP, which means Joseph died as a result of another person’s actions. A manslaughter charge according to the Criminal Code of Canada can result when a “culpable homicide that otherwise would be murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed it did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation.”
There is no minimum charge for manslaughter, however the maximum sentence is life in prison.