14-year prison sentence in lobster slaying


PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. – A Cape Breton fisherman was given a 14-year prison sentence Thursday for killing a man he said enraged him after cutting his lobster traps, threatening to burn his home and years of taunting.

But Joseph James Landry was granted about 2 1/2 years credit for time served in custody awaiting trial, meaning he would serve about 11 1/2 years, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled.

Landry, 67, was convicted by a jury in November of manslaughter in Phillip Boudreau’s death.

The 43-year-old man vanished on June 1, 2013. His body has never been found.

In a victim impact statement, Boudreau’s sister spoke of the anguish she felt “knowing his body was left discarded like old bait.”

“How do I put into words the reality and cruelty of my brother’s death?” Margaret Rose Boudreau told the court in Port Hawkesbury.

The Crown had sought a 15-year prison term while the defence asked for a sentence of seven years, minus 2 1/2 years credit for time served.

Judge Joseph Kennedy left it to the parole board to decide Landry’s parole eligibility.

Landry pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. During his trial, the Crown said Boudreau’s death was the result of a sustained attack by a three-man lobster fishing crew that included Landry, one of four people charged in the case.

The jury heard that Landry was aboard a boat called the Twin Maggies that rammed Boudreau’s boat three times in Petit de Grat harbour. Landry also fired four rifle shots at Boudreau, one of which hit him in the leg, the trial heard.

Boudreau was then hooked with a fishing gaff and dragged out to sea before he was tied to an anchor, court was told.

Craig Landry, who is Joseph James Landry’s third cousin, was previously charged with second-degree murder but that was withdrawn. He now faces a charge of accessory after the fact.

The captain of the Twin Maggies, Dwayne Matthew Samson, also faces a second-degree murder charge. His wife Carla Samson, who owns the lobster boat, faces a charge of accessory after the fact. She is also Joseph James Landry’s daughter.

Those three accused have yet to stand trial.