Thunder Bay’s Brayden Bushby is set to serve his eight-year sentence after the death of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation’s Barbara Kentner in 2017, after the then 18-year-old threw a metal trailer hitch from a moving vehicle, striking her in the abdomen.

Bushby admitted to being intoxicated when the attack took place, and evidence from the trial showed the young man exclaimed “I got one!” after striking Kentner. She was walking through a residential neighbourhood with her sister at the time.

Kentner suffered a perforated bowel as a result of the attack and required an emergency operation the following day. She died five months later in July of 2017 at the age of 34. A post-mortem examination later showed her death was caused by complications related to the injury.

Bushby, now 22, was sentenced to 8 years in a federal penitentiary on the morning of June 7 in Thunder Bay Courts after being found guilty of manslaughter in December of 2020. He’s been out on bail since November of 2017.

During Bushby’s sentencing hearing in February, Crown lawyers called for an 8 to 12-year sentence, while Bushby’s legal team argued for a 4-year sentence as a first-time offender. He was facing life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 7 years.

But about three hours after his sentencing, Bushby filed an appeal to the manslaughter conviction to the Ontario Court of Appeals, and a separate bail application that requested his release from custody.

A bail hearing was held virtually on the afternoon of June 7, where the bail application was promptly denied. Bushby will now remain in custody and has since been transferred to the Thunder Bay District Jail.

Bushby will be serving seven years and 11 months of the eight-year sentence, as he had previously served one month in pre-sentence custody. His appeal of the conviction and sentence will not be heard for a few months. 

As well, Bushby has a 10-year weapons prohibition, will be required to submit a DNA sample and must not make contact with members of the Kentner family while serving his sentence.  

Bushby was initially charged with and plead guilty to aggravated assault and was released on bail in November 2017, after the attack on June 29, 2017.

But following a review of the case by the Crown, Regional Coroner’s Office and the Thunder Bay Police Service, he was later charged with second-degree murder.

He plead not guilty in September of 2019 to the new murder charge. However, the Crown would downgrade the murder charges to manslaughter about one year later.

Bushby’s case had also seen six delays throughout its course due to a courthouse fire, an appeal and the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, it’s taken about 4.5 years to see the case’s conclusion.