Jeffery Kraft’s sister, Caitlin Kraft, and the rest of her family are frustrated that the case against the man who admitted killing him continues to drag on in the courts. (PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff)

Jeffery Kraft’s sister, Caitlin Kraft, and the rest of her family are frustrated that the case against the man who admitted killing him continues to drag on in the courts. (PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff)

Lacombe man expected to seek to withdraw manslaughter guilty plea

Tyler Campbell reconsidering guilty plea after judge rejected seven-year prison sentence

A Lacombe man is expected to ask a judge who rejected a proposed seven-year prison sentence to let him reverse his manslaughter guilty plea.

Tyler John Campbell, 28, pleaded guilty last November to manslaughter for shooting Ponoka’s Jeffery Kraft, 20, in a supposed dispute over owed money on Dec. 15, 2019.

In a rare move in a case involving a serious crime, Red Deer provincial court Judge Jim Hunter twice rejected the joint submission earlier this year for a seven-year sentence from the Crown prosecutor and defence.

Under the law, Campbell can now apply to withdraw his guilty plea. It will be up to Hunter whether that is accepted or not.

“In my discussions, Mr. Campbell is leaning towards making that application,” defence lawyer Michael Scrase told Judge Jim Glass in Red Deer court on Thursday.

RELATED:

Judge rejects seven-year joint submission sentence

Lacombe man pleads guilty to manslaughter

The case returns before Judge Hunter on April 6, when Scrase is expected to ask to be dropped as Campbell’s lawyer given the circumstances.

“(Campbell) is inclined to make the application to strike the guilty plea and I think it’s just more appropriate for another lawyer to make that application,” said Scrase outside the courtroom.

For Kraft’s family, who have attended nearly every court appearance often joined by other supporters, the latest legal twists are emotionally draining.

“Now, here we are stalling yet again, retracting his plea and looking for new counsel,” said Jeffery’s sister, Caitlin Kraft.

Kraft’s mother, Carrie Cocke, also talked about the toll trying to seek justice for her son.

“How are we supposed to get on with our lives when every few weeks we’re back in court? Is there ever going to be justice for our side?

“Our justice system is a joke,” she said outside the courtroom.

Allen Kraft, Jeffery’s father, said he hopes that Judge Hunter refuses any attempt by Campbell to change his plea, which could lead to another trial and many more months of court dates.

“In my opinion, (Campbell) took a life and he deserves to go to jail for life.”

Kraft and a friend met up with Amie Joanne Rogers at Lacombe’s Boston Pizza about 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 15, 2019. They drove to a nearby rural road and when they stopped, Rogers opened the trunk where Campbell was hiding.

Campbell confronted Kraft with a 12-gauge shotgun, which went off, hitting Kraft in the right chest.

Campbell drove Kraft to Lacombe hospital where he dumped him in the parking lot. Kraft later died from his injuries.

Campbell and Rogers, then-21, were initially each charged with second-degree murder, robbery with a firearm and conspiracy to commit an offence.

Last November, to the Kraft family’s anger and frustration, the charges were withdrawn against Rogers and Campbell pleaded guilty to manslaughter.



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Image/ Metro Creative Connection
County of Wetaskiwin responds to Alberta Energy Regulator’s decision on Directive 067.

On April 7, 2021 the Alberta Energy Regular (AER) announced a new edition of Directive 067.

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It’s not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he’d been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

Police are still looking for suspects, and have called in their forensics experts to help

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP respond to break and enter and theft at a Wetaskiwin church

RCMP responded to a break and enter and theft at Jesus Cares Fellowship Church.

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

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

Most Read