Kentner, a local criminal with a long history of violence, was on bail for assault of a Crown witness at the time, when she was struck by a..." />
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THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~  June 7, 2021  (LSN)  A 22 year old BRAYDEN BUSHBY was sentenced to 8 years in the penitentiary minus 1 month of enhanced time served by Her Honour, Superior Court Justice Helen Pierce today, Monday June 7,2021 for the manslaughter death of Barbara Kentner.

Kentner, a local criminal with a long history of violence, was on bail for assault of a Crown witness at the time, when she was struck by a trailer hitch thrown by a drunken BRAYDEN BUSHBY.

KENTNER who already had several health issues due to her alcoholism & drug use, died months later. Justice Pierce had previously ruled that BUSHBY throwing the trailer hitch at her accelerated her death.

There are a few socially distanced spectators in the courtroom along with the Crown & Defence Attorneys. BUSHBY is seated with his lawyers.

Her Honour states that this case is unique and there is no other like it.

Justice Pierce tells the court that violence against indigenous women is disproportionately high in Canada and talks about how indigenous women do not feel safe in Thunder Bay. But she fails to mention that the majority of violence against indigenous women is committed by indigenous men.

Justice Pierce spent a lot of time reviewing all the sentencing submissions and lots of case law (read more below)

Her Honour discusses the principles of sentencing, deterrence, denunciation, punishment & protection of public, just to name a few.

There is no minimum sentence for manslaughter and the maximum is life imprisonment.

However, a penitentiary sentence for a a first time offender should be as short as possible, according to case law and Justice Helen Pierce.

Moral blameworthiness on manslaughter can range from near accident to near murder.

Justice Pierce finds BUSHBY’S moral blameworthiness is in the mid range.

Her Honour discusses the aggravating & mitigating factors of this case.

The Crown cannot prove there was racial bias in this case and they concede that.

However, Her Honour finds that BUSHBY was biased against female sex workers He wanted to yell & throw stuff at hookers. He intended to be rude & demeaning against female sex workers. When he threw the trailer hitch and struck KENTNER he exclaimed “I got one” and laughed. This is aggravating.

Mitigating factors are that he is youthful & was not mature at the time. He had a positive presentence report and has complied with strict bail conditions for 4 years. He has strong family support and has apologized for his actions to KENTNER’S family and the indigenous community.

He agreed to not have a jury trial during a pandemic and this is also mitigating.

Justice Pierce attributes no weight to the fact that BUSHBY has received numerous threats due to this crime. COVID-19 is also not a factor. Efforts were made to avoid sentencing him during the height of the pandemic.

BUSHBY’S actions were not brave or manly. They have not made our community a better place. By doing this drive by hitch throwing, he avoided any type of retaliation by the victim.

Justice Pierce tells the court that BUSHBY has minimized and disrespected women with his actions. He treated females as disposable people.

This violence was unprovoked and unnecessary with a dangerous weapon.

BUSHBY stands and is sentenced by Her Honour to 8 years in the penitentiary minus 1 months of enhanced time served.

BUSHBY will have to submit his DNA & is ordered not to contact members of the Kentner family during the duration of his sentence. No weapons for 10 years following his release.

BUSHBY is allowed to hug his family before being taken into custody.

It is not known at this time if defence lawyers George Joseph & Ryan Green will file an appeal.

Read the original sentencing submissions below.


February 17,2021


Sentencing submissions for a 22 year old BRAYDEN BUSHBY began this morning, Wednesday February 17,2021 in Courtroom 206 at the Thunder Bay Courthouse.

No public are allowed in the courtroom.

Today is Brayden Bushby’s 22nd birthday.

BRAYDEN BUSHBY is sitting in the public gallery while his capable & experience lawyers sit at defence table. BUSHBY is represented by George Joseph & Ryan Green.

Crown Attorneys Andrew Sadler are also present before Her Honour, Superior Court Justice Helen Pierce.

A 34 year old Barbara Kentner died in July 2017, many months after being struck by a trailer hitch being thrown from a moving vehicle by Brayden Bushby. Kentner, a band member of the Wabigoon Lake Indian Reserve 27 was out past the curfew of her bail conditions at the time for a violent attack that she and her friends committed on a young female indigenous Crown witness.

An autopsy report by a pathologist also found that a significant cause of death for Kentner was her liver disease caused by her excessive alcohol consumption.

Superior Court Justice Helen Pierce found the 21 year old Brayden Bushby guilty of manslaughter in connection with Kentner’s death in December 2020 after a four day trial.

Numerous victim impact statements are presented and being read.

The first statement is by Serena Kentner, the daughter of Barbara Kentner. Her written statement says her mother was her best friend and she often confided in her. Serena feels that school has no meaning now. She used to be happy, but has now been diagnosed with depression. She now smokes a lot of weed and drinks alcohol to numb her pain.

The next statement is a joint statement by Melissa & Connie Kentner. They state that they’ve gained weight since Barbara’s death & moved out of Thunder Bay and have now engaged in chronic marijuana use, along with pills and alcohol due to the loss of Barbara.

A statement by sister Cheryl Kentner tells the court that she always hoped Barbara would straighten out her life and stop being an addict. She is comforted by the fact that Bushby will be forever shamed as a killer. She gave up her job as a taxi driver and moved out of Thunder Bay.

Another statement by Amanda Boucher states that Brayden Bushby is a murderer and his friends should be in jail with him.

Defence Attorney Ryan Green reminds Justice Pierce that Brayden Bushby was not convicted of murder. He expects Justice Pierce to exercise her discretion when reviewing these statements.

A statement by Debbie Kakakegamuck is filed but not read.


Audrey Gilbeau is the Executive Director Of Nokiiwin Tribal Council and has shown up to read a statement. She states that the death of Barbara Kentner was felt by all indigenous people in Canada. She spends time discussing how racist the residents of Thunder Bay are. She believes that non-indigenous people get away with killing indigenous people in the city. She states that “Racism killed Barbara” Gilbeau further laments a Chronicle Journal headline involving eggs being thrown as a racist headline. Gilbeau seems to think that the majority of missing & murdered indigenous women are killed by non-indigenous perpetrators. It would appear that she is unaware that the majority of perpetrators are indigenous.

Next up is Donald Worme who appeared by Zoom video from Saskatoon. He is a member of the Indigenous Bar Association & the National Association of Friendship Centres. He speaks like a politician and spends a lot of time talking about the organization he belongs to and their function. He speaks about white superiority in Thunder Bay in the health care system as well as within the Thunder Bay Police. He tells the court that it is indisputable that racism exists in Thunder Bay. The bulk of his statement is about racism. There is no evidence that he has ever been to Thunder Bay.

Another statement is submitted to the court by Coralee McGuire-Cyrette. She is the Ditector of the Ontario Native Women’s Association.


Brayden Bushby has a statement he delivers to the court. He is accepting all responsibility for his actions. He speaks in just a few paragraphs. “It’s my fault.” he tells the court. He is truly sorry, ashamed & embarrassed by his actions. He understands that he left the Kentner family ‘shattered’. He will live with the guilt for the rest of his life. He hopes to use his time in custody to become a better person.


Crown Attorney Trevor Jukes tells Her Honour, Justice Helen Pierce that they are seeking an 8 to 12 year sentence for Brayden Bushby. He states there are several aggravating factors to support a sentence in this range. Some of these are:

  • -physically vulnerable victim
  • -use of a weapon (trailer hitch)
  • -display of satisfaction & laughter at time of offence
  • -dehumanizing aspect of a drive by attack on Mckenzie Street. A known location for street level prostitution.

The Crown acknowledges that alcohol is a factor in this case. The evidence shows that Brayden Bushby began drinking whiskey at 6am in the morning while they were ice fishing all day. He had thrown up twice due to his whiskey drinking. His friends testified that he was ‘quite drunk’ and not in control of his actions. He was getting into the ‘rowdy stage’.

But the Crown contests that Bushby has already received consideration for his level of intoxication by having the charges reduced from second degree murder to manslaughter.

Trevor Jukes tells the court that “Brayden Bushby is not the first person to throw objects at indigenous people from a moving vehicle in Thunder Bay, but he should be the last. A sentence of deterrence is required"

He suggests that because thrown objects at people is a problem in Thunder Bay that a stiffer sentence is required.

Crown Attorney Andrew Sadler discusses all the case law submitted to support their request for a sentence of 8-12 years. He states that Bushby was intoxicated enough that it’s not murder, but his level of intoxication wasn’t that high and he knew he was targeting a member of the public. Of course there is no case law involving a trailer hitch being thrown by an intoxicated person from a moving vehicle.

Crown Attorney Andrew Sadler tells the court that there are mitigating factors. Bushby did plead guilty to aggravated assault at the beginning of the trial. He has shown remorse and accepted responsibility for his actions. However, he suggests to Her Honour that the case law submitted shows 8 to 12 years is an appropriate range.


Defence Attorney Ryan Green tells the court that his client was just a month past his 18th birthday at the time of the incident. He is the father of a child and has a fiancé. He tells Justice Pierce that a 4 year sentence is a suitable punishment for this crime. His client has spent a total of 18 days presentence custody at the Thunder Bay Jail. This should be enhanced to a 30 day credit. A DNA order along with a 10 year weapons prohibition is an appropriate sentence. His client’s remorse, future prospects and immaturity at the time of the offence need to be factored into the court’s decision. Brayden Bushby has no criminal record. Green suggests that a 4 year sentence will deter the public from committing similar acts of violence. A sentence needs to have rehabilitative. A sentence that is too harsh will not allow Bushby to successfully reintegrate into the community.

Green further submits that Brayden Bushby is not the embodiment of racism in Thunder Bay. Melissa Kentner told Thunder Bay Police that she didn’t feel that Barbara was targeted for being indigenous, but rather just the actions of a stupid person.

The facts are that Bushby retrieved the trailer hitch with the intent of throwing the hitch through the window of a friend’s vehicle. Bushby then wanted to go yell at hookers on Mckenzie Street. He inexplicably & impulsively threw the trailer hitch at a person walking down Mckenzie street. That was Barbara Kentner.

Bushby doesn’t recall the trailer hitch incident due to his level of black out intoxication. He denied being prejudiced against any ethnic minority.


The presentence report shows that his daughter is 2 months old. When Brayden was 9 years old, his father had a diabetic seizure while driving and the vehicle wound up on railway tracks. Young Brayden ran for help. The Bushby family doesn’t feel safe in the city and Brayden has been verbally accosted on several occasions. He never completed high school and worked in a garage doing mechanical work. Since the pandemic, his only income has been CERB. His fiancé describes him as a compassionate & caring person.

Bushby had been a regular weekend drinker from 16-18 years old but stopped drinking after the trailer hitch assault.

Defence Attorney Ryan Green submits that due to the youthfulness of his client, rehabilitation factors need to be considered. He has submitted case law to the court that a crushing sentencing is not suitable. There are mitigating factors:

-Bushby has no history of violence & no criminal record

-he was youthful at the time

-uncharacteristic behaviour

-waived his right to a jury trial during a pandemic

-he has no history of violating court orders

-Brayden Bushby has accepted responsibility for his actions and shown remorse.

Defence Attorney Green further argues that if deterrence is required due to a local situation that a Lacasse application is required and the Crown has not done that.

Justice Helen Pierce will deliver a decision on May 4,2021. Brayden Bushby remains free on bail due to Covid 19 issues at the Thunder Bay Jail. Justice Pierce will decide how long he will spend in the federal penitentiary on that date.

#LSN_Crime  #LSN_TBayCourthouse

Thunder Bay Court House Inside Edition
Thunder Bay Court House Inside Edition

Thunder Bay Courthouse
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The views expressed in this article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Lake Superior News / Lake Superior Media.


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