Two men who admitted to supplying James Roszko with a rifle and a ride in the slaughter of four Alberta Mounties neither pulled the trigger, nor knew the cop-hater was about to commit the vicious act, defence lawyers argued yesterday.
Though brothers-in-law Shawn Hennessey, 29, and Dennis Cheeseman, 25, pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter in connection with the infamous 2005 Mayerthorpe-area slayings, defence lawyers D’arcy Depoe and Peter Northcott claim neither knew Roszko intended to storm officers in a hail of bullets.
“Neither of these men are the ones who shot the four police officers,” Depoe said, during yesterday’s sentencing hearing.
Each claim even though their clients handed Roszko a gun and drove him to his farm, they thought his intentions were only to torch the quonset grow-op hut, and were unaware police were in the process of raiding his property.
“He didn’t feel it was an option,” Depoe said of Hennessey, claiming his client was frightened when Roszko asked for help hours before the shootings. “He gave him the rifle.”
Crown prosecutor David Labrenz has recommended each man be incarcerated for 10 to 15 years.
Depoe has asked Hennessey serve no more than five years, less time served. Northcott asked for the minimum four-year sentence, less time served.
Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Eric Macklin is expected to reach a decision within seven to 10 days.