The two men who were found guilty of breaking into my father's home and attacking him and my brother were sentenced yesterday. You can read the article that was run in today's StarPhoenix newspaper below or it can be found online here. Please note that there is a typo. My father is 55 years old not 59.
Assault on father, son leads to jail time
Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix
Published: Thursday, June 26, 2008
Two men who forced their way into a rural home and assaulted a father and son inside are going to prison.
Justice Ian McLellan had no pity for William Kominetsky, who was shot in the stomach by the Pike Lake-area homeowner he was assaulting on the rainy night of June 17, 2005.
McLellan refused to consider Kominetsky's wound a mitigating factor, saying he was the author of his own misfortune.
Kominetsky, 39, was sentenced to 41/2 years in prison for break and enter and assault causing bodily harm against Robert Stonehouse, 59, who later suffered a trauma-induced stroke from the attack.
Stonehouse also suffered a gunshot wound from the same bullet that pierced Kominetsky's stomach.
Stonehouse inadvertently shot through his own side as he reached across his front and tried to fire behind himself at Kominetsky, who was holding him face down on the sofa and punching his head.
Thomas Johnson, 31, was sentenced to 30 months for break and enter and assaulting Stonehouse's son, Dirk Stonehouse, 29.
Both offenders will have their DNA profiles entered in the national data bank and are prohibited from possessing firearms for the rest of their lives.
Crown prosecutor Sandeep Bains said it was a very disturbing case in which strangers entered a rural home and committed violence upon the occupants.
The prison sentences send "a significant message to the community" that people who commit home invasions will be dealt with seriously, Bains said.
Both Stonehouses used firearms from their collection to repel the intruders and were themselves charged with attempted murder. Both spent a weekend in custody before the charges were dropped.
The elder Stonehouse suffered the stroke while in custody and was taken to hospital, but returned to cells three times in one night, he said in an interview.
Roger Kergoat, Johnson's lawyer, said the incident occurred when rain prevented Johnson and Kominetsky from camping out and they decided to try to collect an alleged debt while they were in the area.
Both were drunk and belligerent when they knocked on the Stonehouse door and Johnson demanded money, McLellan found.
Robert Stonehouse said he had never met Kominetsky before and didn't recognize Johnson, who had worked for him briefly, years earlier.
Johnson punched Dirk Stonehouse and Kominetsky pushed past them into the house, McLellan found.
Robert Stonehouse hurried to call 911 but the call didn't go through because his son was using dial-up Internet.
Stonehouse managed to seize his .25-calibre pistol from the pocket of his armchair and warned Kominetsky but it did no good and Kominetsky attacked him.
Kominetsky punched Stonehouse on the couch and didn't stop even after he was shot in the stomach.
Dirk Stonehouse, meanwhile, had locked Johnson out of the house and tried to help his father. Kominetsky didn't respond when the younger Stonehouse punched him in the head and warned he would get a shotgun.
Before he could get the weapon, Dirk Stonehouse had to fight off Johnson, who had heard the shot and broken in again to help Kominetsky.
Dirk Stonehouse struck Kominetsky on the head with the shotgun barrel and the weapon discharged, though no one apparently was shot by it.
After the intruders left, police were notified.
When Kominetsky and Johnson were arrested they told police Stonehouse invited them over and then tried to kill them.
RCMP obtained a search warrant for the Stonehouse property and arrested and charged the victims.
Robert Stonehouse said outside court RCMP caused about $10,000 damage during the search and he still has not received back about $30,000 in property seized at that time, despite the fact it has been three years since the incident. He said he intends to take legal action.
McLellan on Wednesday ordered the return of Crown exhibits in the case but those do not apparently include the property Stonehouse alleges was seized.