Yellowknife

Sentencing for Yellowknife gun thief is delayed again


The sentencing will be further delayed for a man who admitted to stealing firearms, jewellery, and other items from a Yellowknife home in 2018.

Beau Desire-Tesar pleaded guilty to a number of charges more than a year ago, acknowledging his involvement in the ransacking of a home on Rivett Crescent over that year’s Thanksgiving weekend.

According to an agreed statement of facts, safes were stolen that contained 10 firearms and a diamond necklace, among other items. 

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Following a manhunt, police arrested Desire-Tesar in Alberta a month later.

Desire-Tesar was originally scheduled to be sentenced in July 2020, following completion of an addictions treatment program in Nanaimo, BC.

He failed, however, to return to the NWT in time to self-isolate for two weeks before his court appearance. Another sentencing hearing in August was postponed to allow time to prepare a pre-sentencing report.

Desire-Tesar was next set to be sentenced in NWT Territorial Court on Wednesday morning, but the matter was delayed in order to allow his new lawyer time to prepare for the hearing. 

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David Tarnow, a lawyer based in BC, told NWT judge Donovan Molloy he had taken over the case just 10 days ago. Tarnow requested a delay of two to three weeks to prepare.

Tarnow said he hopes to challenge the constitutionality of a mandatory minimum sentence for the charge of possessing a weapon obtained by crime. 

Judge Molloy initially denied the extension request.

“This matter has been outstanding, sir,” he told Tarnow, adding the case has “quite a complicated and protracted procedural history.” 

Crown prosecutor Robert Fane said he did not object to delaying the sentencing. He noted Desire-Tesar has been in custody since August and the Crown plans to seek a sentence beyond the credit Desire-Tesar will receive for time served in pre-trial custody.

Fane said he was also not prepared to argue the constitutionality of the mandatory minimum sentence. 

“This matter has to come to an end,” Molloy said, before agreeing to the extension. 

Molloy noted the sentencing won’t happen before 2021, as he doesn’t have any available court dates until then.

“Any prejudice to Mr Tesar is of his own accord,” he said.

Molloy, Fane, and Tarnow will determine a date for sentencing at another court appearance on October 21. 

In March, the CBC reported François Parisella, a man who helped store the stolen guns, was sentenced to five months’ house arrest.

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