A Thunder Bay man has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for what a judge called “extremely violent” and “senseless” crimes.

Nazareth Alexander Nelson, who was 35 at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in January in connection with the September 2017 death of 25-year-old Bert Isaac Wood. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault in relation to the same incident.

In a city courtroom on Friday, Nelson was sentenced to 15 years in custody on the manslaughter charge and then three years to be served consecutively on the aggravated assault charges.

Police were called to a residence in the 200 block of North Syndicate Avenue at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2017 where they found a dead man along with a 25-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman who had both been assaulted. All four individuals were known to each other.

When handing down his sentence, Justice John Fregeau said Nelson was in an intoxicated rage when the crimes were committed and called it a tragic case, citing Nelson’s horrific background as a mitigating factor as well as the remorse shown by the accused.

Defence lawyer Michael Hargadon read a letter penned by Nelson expressing his remorse for the loss of Woods’ life and the pain and injuries to the other two individuals as well as the first responders for the gruesome crime scene.

Nelson wrote he was truly sorry and that his addictions controlled him but there is no one to blame but himself. He was visibly upset as his letter was read to the court.

The 18-year sentence was recommended in a joint submission by the Crown and defence, but Hargadon said there can be no true retribution when a life is taken.

Nelson was given credit for 23 months served pre-sentence on an enhanced credit of 1.5 days per day spent in custody. That credit of 1,037 days is to be applied to the sentences for the two counts of aggravated assault.

Nelson was also ordered to submit a DNA sample and was issued a lifetime weapons prohibition.

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