EDMONTON — Three teens pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday for the fatal shooting of a five-year-old boy in his Hobbema, Alta., home last year.
Ethan Yellowbird was struck in the head by a stray bullet on July 11, 2011, as he slept inside his Samson Cree Nation home, about 90 km south of Edmonton, in what police say was a botched drive-by shooting.
The three teens, who police say were 13, 16 and 17 at the time of the shooting and cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, entered the guilty pleas in a Wetaskiwin court on what was slated to be the first day of a two-week trial.
A date for a sentencing hearing is expected to be set on Nov. 21, said Alberta Justice spokesman Michelle Davio.
Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the maximum sentence for manslaughter is two years in closed custody and one year in open custody.
The trio was also charged with aggravated assault and intentional discharge of a firearm.
Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the Sept. 6, 2011, shooting death of Ethan’s aunt -- 23-year-old Chelsea Yellowbird -- who was fatally shot in the backyard of a home next door to where the young boy was killed.