Judge told family members of victims Melissa Trudi Miller, Michael Shane Jamieson and Alan Grant Porter he hoped they and the Six Nations community could now heal.
SIX NATIONS TRIPLE MURDERS: Nicholas Shipman convicted on three counts of manslaughter sentenced to 18 years, Jamie Beaver convicted of aggravated assault in stabbing gets 3 1/2 years time served
By Victoria Gray
A judge told the families of victims of Six Nations 2018 triple homicide he knew no sentence would help their grief or make up for the loss, but hoped the Six Nations community could start to heal.
“They all spoke of the anguish and heartache they have suffered and continue to suffer. The pain that will never go away. Their lives have been permanently altered. The manner of the deaths heightens the despair,” Justice Paul Sweeny said. “Unfortunately there is no sentence which will assist the friends and family of Melissa, Alan and Micheal to overcome their deep sense of loss… This has been a traumatic event for the whole community. There is pain that lingers as a result of the deaths themselves and the violence that accompanied the deaths. This is a trauma the community must endure.”
On March 10 Sweeny sentenced Nicholas Shipman, 39, to 18 years in prison, with five year’s time served for three counts of manslaughter in the deaths of Alan Grant Porter, 33, Melissa Trudi Miller, 37, who was seven months pregnant and Michael Shane Jamieson, 32. He was also sentenced to 60 and 90 days served concurrently for two assaults that took place in Niagara and Milton while he was incarcerated.
His lawyer told the court Shipman intended to spend the time incarcerated making use of programs available to help rehabilitate himself.
Jamie Beaver, 35, was convicted of aggravated assault for stabbing Miller and sentenced to three and a half years time served and a three year peace bond.
Both Beaver and Shipman must submit samples of their DNA to the court and are subject to a weapons prohibition for the rest of their lives. They are not to contact any member of the families of the deceased or any of those involved in the killings or attempted cover-up.
Both Beaver and Shipman’s Gladue reports were referenced and Sweeny said they both have suffered the effects of generational trauma from residential schools as well as addiction and they had been taken into consideration.
During her victim impact statement Miller’s mother, Trudy Miller said her daughter was killed on her birthday and in the days following the return of her daughter’s body she was forced to choose whether to bury her unborn grandson with her daughter or to have him removed and buried separately.
“It didn’t hit me until I went to the funeral home and seen my daughter in that coffin. I seen how many stab wounds she had to her. That’s when I didn’t want noone else to see that, that hurt. That was a hurt I’ll never forget. I never ever wanted my girls to see that, so I had a closed casket,” she said. “I never ever even got to see that baby. I never got to hold my own grandson and this hurts. It still hurts today and it will keep on hurting, I know.”
Since her daughter’s death she has tried to remain strong for her grandchildren, but she is plagued with grief and anger. She’s also afraid to go into the community and see relatives or those who killer her daughter. She hopes to see justice, but says the lord will ultimately judge them.
“I just get angry whenever I think of Nick (Shipman). He took both parents away from my grandchildren,” she said.
In the days after the murders Kirsten Bomberry visited both Miller and Jamieson’s mother Sue Jamieson. Both mothers said she tried to hug them and offer support. Bomberry even walked behind Jamieson on the last walk from the Longhouse to her son’s resting place. When they found out where their children were killed, both women felt violated and have found it incredibly hard to trust anyone in the community.
“How can someone charged in my son’s murder have the nerve to come to my house? How could they watch our pain, but at the same time nobody knew of their involvement. It brings chills down my spine,” Jamieson said.
Both women expressed feelings of anger, fear, mistrust and isolation in the community. There were 10 victim impact statements read in total.
Linda Porter said she’s had three years of counselling. She couldn’t sleep, couldn’t concentrate on work and her family doesn’t get together much anymore.
“The hardest thing is watching my mom and the girls. His girls will never know him. They call their foster parents mom and dad,” she said. “I’ll always be filled with regret for not helping him enough. At the time he was trying to get better for his girls.”
Porter’s brother Jim Porter said he felt tremendously guilty for not being able to save his brother. He has nightmares about his brother’s final moments and one of their last conversations.
“I picked him up from a drug house. I told him this would happen if he didn’t straighten his life out and here we are,” he said.
Although he has had a difficult time dealing with the loss of his brother he believes Porter died doing what was right.
“My brother did have a huge heart. He tried saving his pregnant cousin that night. That got him killed. As far as I’m concerned, he died a hero.”
A community impact statement prepared by Ganohkwasra family assault support services was read detailing the uncertainty and fear clients expressed.
In the early morning hours of October 29, 2018, Porter, Miller, and on October 30, Jamieson, were murdered in Kristen Bomberry’s trailer on Fourth Line Road in Ohsweken.
A group was drinking and consuming illegal substances in the trailer before a fight broke out. There were people present who were involved in the death of Douglas Hill, from Brantford in June, 2017 in the trailer, along with Miller, who was Hill’s partner. Three people were arrested for Hill’s death before his remains were found, including three women and a man.
Nicholas Shipman, who was charged as an accessory after the fact in the Hill case, Jamie Beaver (Shipman’s girlfriend) and Vern Shipman (Shipman’s brother) were all at Kirsten’s trailer.
In the statement of facts, Miller was killed first, stabbed by Beaver and then by Shipman in the chest. Porter was killed with the same knife when he got up to intervene and both bodies were wrapped in blankets and transported to a garage on the property. Shipman shot Jamieson in the chest with Kirsten’s shotgun sometime later.
The bodies were found in an abandoned truck on Bodkin Road near London and the Chippewa of the Thames on November 4, 2018, not far from where Hill’s body was found a year earlier.
Miller received six stab wounds in the left breast and chest as well as blunt force trauma to the head, chest and abdomen. Miller’s face was severely bruised and swollen. All six stab wounds penetrated her left lung and exited superficially through her back. She had defensive cuts on her left hand. Her cause of death was listed as sharp and blunt force trauma as well as ethanol intoxication.
Porter’s throat had a 15 cm gash across his neck that was eight cm wide. The injury severed all of the soft tissue in his neck including his windpipe, veins and arteries. The depth of the wound ended at the spinal column.
Jamieson died as a result of the shotgun wound in his chest.
Vernon Shipman and Roland Sturgeon were charged with accessory after the fact to murder. Kirsten Bomberry was charged with accessory after the fact as well. She admitted to hiding the knife and gun used in the killings, but was acquitted in 2019 after her lawyer argued successfully that she did so because she feared for her own life.
Thomas Bomberry was charged with second degree murder in connection to the triple homicide in relation to the deaths of Porter and Miller. He has pleaded not guilty his trial stalled out in February after he fired his lawyer. He is scheduled for a court appearance on March 24.