|Cindy Rubio holds a picture of her daughter Roberta McIvor who was killed at Sandy Bay First Nation, Manitoba, on July 30, 2011. (QMI Agency/ANGELA BROWN)
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MAN. - Two Sandy Bay First Nation, Man., girls have been given the maximum two years under the Youth Criminal Justice Act for the decapitation manslaughter death of Roberta McIvor, but will serve just one year due to time served.
Justice Heather Pullan found both accused to be directly responsible and active participants in the crime. Each will face curfews, a 10-year firearms prohibition, as well as a no-contact order with the family of the deceased upon their release.
It’s also expected that the two girls will have a conditional supervision requirement upon release.
Roberta McIvor’s mother, Cindy Rubio, was not impressed with the sentence handed down by Justice Pullan. Rubio plans to ask for an appeal, as she would like to see the accused serve more time in jail.
“I can’t put my daughter to rest until something is really settled. All I do is dream of her. I’m going to ask for an appeal. We’re not going to be satisfied right now,” said Rubio.
Roberta McIvor was 32 years old when she died in the early hours of July 30, 2011.
After a night of parties, she passed out in the passenger side of her 2005 Chevy Impala, with the keys hidden in the console.
According to the documents, the two girls convicted, just 15 and 17 at the time, decided to steal the car after leaving a party.
At some point, the girls pulled over and decided to remove McIvor from the car, stripping her of her clothes in the process.
She was left naked except for her bra, on the side of the road as the car sped away from the scene, the court heard.
However, the two girls were unaware McIvor was entangled in the seatbelt and was being dragged behind the vehicle.
McIvor’s body was dragged for about one kilometre before her arm was trapped under the rear passenger wheel, which caused her head to be pulled from her body by the seatbelt that was around her neck.
It was believed this occurred about 3 a.m. There is no evidence to suggest either of the accused knew what had happened to McIvor. After both taking turns at the wheel driving around Sandy Bay the vehicle was abandoned when it ran out of gas.
All involved noted how exceptional the case was - with no known precedent in Canada. The case has traumatized the community of Sandy Bay and led to animosity between the families of the accused and the family of the deceased.
The family of McIvor sobbed during the reading of the agreed statement of facts describing the deceased’s death.
Both girls appeared remorseful as they made statements to the court. The 17-year-old, came to tears.
“I am truly sorry for the loss your family has suffered,” she said, crying. “My actions were not the example I would like to set for my children or for my community.”
The younger of the two accused also apologized, saying she wished every day she could take it back, and she hoped the family would forgive her.
The agreed statement of facts will be posted at the band office in Sandy Bay in hopes of quashing rumours and cooling animosity within the community.