Man pleads guilty to criminal negligence, indignity to a human body in death of Shane Smith

One of the accused in the death of Shane Smith will spend five years and nine months in prison, with credit for time already served.

Ian Abercrombie pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death and indignity to a human body on Friday and was sentenced to a total of six and a half years, but with credit for time already served, he will spend five years and nine months behind bars.

The second-degree murder charge was withdrawn.

Crown prosecutor Mike Ewenson told the court judge this case is “one of the most emotionally-charged files” he’s covered, describing the difficulty of closure for the family because of the nature of the crime.

“(They) can’t come to terms because they don’t have a body to bury.”

Defence lawyer Adriano Iovinelli argued Abercrombie should not have been charged with second-degree murder.

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Read more: Murder charge laid in death of missing Calgary man

In June, Abercrombie was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in Smith’s death. He was also charged with committing indecency to a human body and breaching both a court order and firearms prohibition.

Smith’s family arrived at court on Friday for the sentencing, wearing black sweaters that read “Justice for Shane.” His parents, Shirley and Bill, and sister Cassandra provided impact statements.

The family of Shane Smith reacts to the sentencing of Ian Abercrombie.
The family of Shane Smith reacts to the sentencing of Ian Abercrombie. Tom Reybolds / Global News

The night Shane died                

According to an agreed statement of facts between the crown and defence, Shane Smith died from a gunshot wound on the night of June 6, 2020.

The facts of the case outlined a night of four friends gathering in a garage – to show off new firearms dropped off by Abercrombie.

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Two witnesses to the event said the group were in the garage, with Abercrombie picking up a firearm —  an AR-15 — with the barrel pointed at Smith in a joking manner.

The witnesses said the firearm did not appear to have a magazine inside but there were no safety checks to see if the gun was in fact loaded, and Abercrombie did not know the gun was loaded, according to the statement.

One witness described an explosion, and Smith falling to the ground.

A neighbour’s recording captured the audio of what appears to be a single gunshot wound at 11:38 p.m. that evening.

The facts of the case describe Abercrombie rolling up Shane’s body in a carpet and then put in a truck.

When Abercrombie arrived home, his two roommates helped move his body. His body has not been recovered, and its believed to have been put in the Bow River.

Click to play video 'Remains of homicide victim Shane Smith the focus of Bow River search' Remains of homicide victim Shane Smith the focus of Bow River search

Remains of homicide victim Shane Smith the focus of Bow River search – Oct 22, 2020

— More to come

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