Marcella (left) and Valerie Goodrunning were at the Red Deer provincial court Tuesday for the sentencing of Chelsey Lagrelle, who killed their sister Samantha Sharpe, in 2018. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Marcella (left) and Valerie Goodrunning were at the Red Deer provincial court Tuesday for the sentencing of Chelsey Lagrelle, who killed their sister Samantha Sharpe, in 2018. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

A Sunchild First Nation woman who slashed her brother and stabbed a friend to death during an argument in 2018 was sentenced to four and a half years in prison Tuesday.

Chelsey Lagrelle, 25, had earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the murder of Samantha Sharpe, 25, after an evening of drinking and watching movies along with her brother, Ashton Lagrelle, who was Sharpe’s fiancé.

At some point in the early hours of Dec. 12, 2018, an argument broke out and Chelsey, who had been drinking heavily, grabbed a steak knife off a coffee table. She swung at her brother several times, cutting his knee.

When Samantha tried to intervene, Chelsey stabbed her twice. The first wound was shallow but the second thrust pierced her heart and a lung and she died at the scene.

“This was a tragic and utterly senseless loss of a young life,” said Red Deer provincial court Judge Jim Hunter in sentencing.

“Her loss has left a significant void in the lives of so many that will never be filled.”

Earlier in the day, Sharpe’s friends and family described their heartbreaking loss in victim impact statements.

Samantha’s mother, Priscilla Sharpe, said the last time she saw her daughter was when she dropped her off at work at a local truck stop a day before her death.

“Had I known that was going to be the last time, I would have hugged her a little bit more and told her I loved her,” she said her voice breaking

“I was so proud of her. She was such a beautiful soul,” she read. “It’s like a bad dream with no ending.”

Samantha overcame a near-fatal car accident in the summer of 2017 that left her badly burned with numerous broken bones.

She required months of rehabilitation but remained in good spirits and returned to work as soon as she could, said her mother.

Whatever sentence Lagrelle gets, it will not compare to her life sentence, she said as Lagrelle sat in the prisoner’s dock, her head bowed.

“The pain does not go away. This will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Later in the morning, the mother suffered chest pains and had to be taken to hospital by family members.

Neil Sharpe said his daughter was the “light of my family’s heart.

“I would have given anything to be around her when she passed to tell her again how much I loved her and how proud I was.”

Sister Valerie Goodrunning said her days now are long and emotional and she has suffered panic attacks and struggles to sleep.

“I think about how I’ll never get those moments to be a big sister again,” she said. “She was fearless, courageous and was my inspiration.”

Samantha was passionate about animals and spent her spare time rescuing dogs and cats on the reserve. She kept stocks of pet food to give to those who could not afford their own.

Marcella Goodrunning said she replays the day of her younger sister’s death in her head over and over again and has a constant ache in her heart.

“She had many amazing qualities that made her unique.”

Last week, she went to tend Samantha’s gravesite. “Never in a million years did I think I would be doing that.

“I often wonder if this will ever end. Will I ever wake up from this nightmare. My heart is forever broken beyond repair.”

Lagrelle apologized to the family in court for taking Samantha’s life.

“She had the biggest heart, the most beautiful smile and the greatest laugh.

“I take full responsibility for the cause of her death and I want you all to know how deeply and truly sorrow I am.”

She said she knows the family has many questions about what happened and why but she has no answers herself.

“All I know was a precious life was taken by me and I’m truly sorry for that.”

Crown prosecutor Greg Gordon asked for a sentence of five years minus time served in custody.

Defence lawyer Alain Hepner said if Lagrelle is given 18 months credit for time served in remand centres and in a treatment centre a two-year sentence was appropriate.

Hepner said Lagrelle had been sexually assaulted as a five-year-old and suffered mental health and substance abuse issues for much of her life. She had attempted suicide three times and was diagnosed with an underlying borderline personality disorder and struggled with impulse control and other mental health issues.

The judge gave Lagrelle credit for 10.5 months in custody using a 1.5-day-per-day served formula. She also must provide a DNA sample to a national database and has a lifetime firearms prohibition.

The judge agreed to recommend that she serve her time in the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge prison in Maple Creek, Sask.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Alberta begins rolling out AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for those aged 40 or older

There are more than 70 pharmacies offering AstraZeneca, including 26 offering walk-in appointments

A child writes in their school notebook during a home schooling session in Cremona, Alta., Monday, March 23, 2020, amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of students in Calgary will shift to online learning as of today in a bid to curb rising COVID-19 infection rates in the city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Online classes begin for some Alberta students amid rising COVID-19 cases

Alberta currently has the highest rate of active COVID-19 cases in the country

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Alberta joins Ontario in lowering minimum age for AstraZeneca vaccine

More than 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered in this country

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,516 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Central zone has 1,849 active cases

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Most Read