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Update: 8.5 years for final case in murder of Jody Elliott

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 | 2:27 pm

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Jody Elliott in an undated photo from a Facebook memorial page. (Photo contributed)

By Joe Fries

A final jail sentence of 8.5 years has now concluded the court proceedings against the four men accused of killing Jody Elliott.

Daniel Mader, 26, received that sentence this afternoon in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna after pleading guilty in February to a single count of manslaughter. He was teary-eyed through most of the proceedings, but managed a smile while being led out of the courtroom by a sheriff amid words of encouragement from his supporters.

He was one of three co-accused to plead guilty to manslaughter. The fourth, Grant Fralic, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in jail with parole eligibility after 10 years.

The 8.5-year term is identical to the one Robert Juker received in October, 2009, although the two men played vastly different roles in the events that led to the killing and dismemberment of the 26-year-old Elliott, a drug dealer who ripped off competitors and in doing so incurred their wrath, court heard.

Justice Alison Beames this afternoon said she accepted that Mader shot Elliott once in the leg and once in the buttock on Nov. 2, 2005, because he was ordered to do so by ringleader Grant Fralic. She also accepted that Mader did not aim to kill and later hid the gun so that it could not be used again. Further, Beames accepted that Mader did not know Elliott had been tagged for death on orders from an unidentified “Mr. Big.”

However, the judge pointed out that it was the bullet wounds that effectively rendered Elliott helpless, and while Mader did not participate in the final killing and dismemberment of Elliott in a wooded area outside West Kelowna, he also didn’t try to withdraw from the situation when he had a chance. Mader also admitted to striking Elliott’s head multiple times with a hammer.

Juker drove his three co-accused and Elliott to the spot where the beatings occurred and did not admit to hitting Elliott. But he did help Fralic remove the victim’s head and hands later that night.

Beames said while Mader’s moral culpability in the events was “slightly greater” than that of Juker’s, it was mitigated somewhat by Mader’s young age – 22 at the time – and demonstrated immaturity.

The two men were described in court as Fralic’s foot soldiers.

Ramoncito Viejon, meanwhile, was seen as a lieutenant and knew full well that Fralic planned to kill Elliott, and even put up some of the reward money given to the men who lured Elliott to the flophouse where he was shot. Viejon, although he claimed not to have been involved in the beatings, was sentenced in February to 11 years behind bars.

In sentencing Mader, Beames said she viewed his young age, guilty plea, remorse and lack of a criminal record as mitigating factors. With double credit for pretrial custody of seven years, he got an effective sentence of 1.5 years’ new time.

Mader, who wore a black suit over a lavender shirt and leg shackles, was not able to finish his statement to the court. Instead, his lawyer read it out. He said in part: “My heart hurts so bad. I never wanted that to happen to (Elliott). I was high and not the same person I am now off of drugs.”

joe@kelowna.com
250-575-4303

By Joe Fries

The triggerman who fired the two shots from a .22-calibre handgun that kicked off the beating, murder and eventual dismemberment of Jody Elliott isĀ  about to learn his fate.

Daniel Mader, 26, is in B.C. Supreme Court today for sentencing on a single count of manslaughter. He is the last of four men accused in the gruesome Nov. 2, 2005, killing to be sentenced.

In an agreed statement of facts read out this morning in court, Mader admitted to shooting Elliott, a local drug dealer with a reputation for violence, twice on his lower body.

The four men then drove Elliott, 26, from a West Kelowna flophouse on Old Ferry Wharf Road to a secluded forested area outside West Kelowna where he was forced to strip, save for his jeans, then further beaten and left for dead.

After he was arrested, Mader was placed in a cell with an undercover police officer. He told the cell plant that he hit Elliott in the head repeatedly with a drywall hammer, then turned the tool around and plunged the claw into the victim’s skull.

Three other men, Grant Fralic, Robert Juker and Ramoncito Viejon, returned to the spot later to remove evidence from the body and were intercepted by police as they returned to the city with Elliott’s head and hands in their car.

Mader did not go along on the return trip and was not arrested until Viejon fingered him on Nov. 4.

Juker and Viejon, who also pleaded guilty to manslaughter, received jail sentences of 8.5 years and 11 years, respectively.

Ringleader Grant Fralic pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was handed a term of life imprisonment with parole eligibility after 10 years. He admitted to striking the fatal blow on the second trip up the mountain.

Crown counsel Martin Nadon has asked the judge to sentence Mader to the same 11 years as Viejon because of his “participation in the disabling of Mr. Elliott and the beating of Mr. Elliott.”

Meanwhile, defence counsel Deanne Gaffar suggested a maximum sentence of eight years. She said her client feared for his own life and did as he was told by Fralic. Just a few weeks earlier, she said, Fralic extracted one of Mader’s teeth over a $40 drug debt.

“What Mr. Mader was doing was trying to save his own life,” Gaffar said.

Mader, who had about a dozen supporters in attendance, choked up as he began addressing Justice Alison Beames.

“I feel bad for what happened,” he said before breaking down.

Beames excused him for a few minutes, but he was not able to finish.

Both sides agreed that Mader should be credited for having served seven years’ worth of jail time from his eventual sentence under the court’s usual two-for one rule. The Metis man, who his lawyer said was “a crackhead” at the time of the killing, was freed on bail in April, 2009. But he’s back behind bars after a string of breach allegations. He is also charged with uttering threats.

A decision is expected at 3 p.m.

joe@kelowna.com
250-575-4303

Update: 8.5 years for final case in murder of Jody Elliott3.052

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2 Responses to “Update: 8.5 years for final case in murder of Jody Elliott”

  1. Fred Norris says:
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    this country’s justice system disgusts me. read what this guy did and tell me if you think the sentence suits the crime. what a disgrace.

  2. robski says:
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    This is f*#!ed. Our judges, laywers and laws are f*#!ed. And this double-credit bull$%&! is f*#!ed too. So this guy only does 5 years of time (assuming he does the full 1.5 years further, which is a BIG f*#!ing assumption around here). This was one of the most heinous crimes you can imagine, and he only does 5 years. Un-F*#!ing-Believable. Its a f#*!ing free-for-all around here. So go ahead, rob a bank, kill someone you don’t like, drive drunk, start a grow-op, sell some cocaine, it really doesn’t matter. chances are that you won’t get busted, and if you do, you wont do much time anyways.

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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