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(Posted 4:30 a.m., June 8)
Young man convicted of manslaughter gets six years for St. Patrick's Day stabbing

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ben Taylor has been sentenced to six years in prison, less time served, for the 2011 St. Patrick's Day stabbing death of Scott Ledoux. File photo

The man convicted of stabbing 22-year-old Scott Ledoux to death during a St. Patrick's Day party in Orléans in 2011 has been sentenced to six years in prison for his crime.

A jury convicted Ben Taylor, 20, of manslaughter following a three week trial in Febuary, rather than the more serious charge of second degree murder.

The prosecuter in the case had argued for an eight year sentence, while Taylor's defence attorney Pat McCann requested that his client be released for time served after already spending two years behind bars.

On Friday, Justice Charles Hackland ruled that Taylor should serve six years less time served rather than the eight years requested by the prosecution.

“In this case, I believe a somewhat reduced sentence is warranted due to the severity of the beating Mr. Taylor received at the time he employed the knife,” Hackland ruled. “This provocation reduces the moral blameworthiness surrounding his use of the knife."

Ledoux was one of several univited guests who showed up at a St. Patrick's Day "pre-party" hosted by Taylor in his Cousineau Street apartment. At one point Taylor left the apratment in the care of a friend to run some errands. When he returned shortly after midnight a number of the guests, including Ledoux, had grown rowdy and were trashing his apartment. Taylor asked them to leave but they refused.

When he confronted them a second time he and Ledoux exchanged blows. Ledoux retreated after the initial exchange and went outside where he challenged Taylor to come out and fight him.

It was at this point that Taylor picked up a steak knife from the sink and put it in his pocket. Two of his friends testified that Taylor said he would use it against Ledoux if he returned. Taylor also asked a friend to call 911.

When Taylor didn't come outside to meet him, Ledoux, who was 30 lbs heavier than Taylor, went back inside the house. A second fight ensued in which Ledoux quickly gained the upperhand and “was, by all accounts, administering a beating” on Taylor, Hackland said.

According to the defence, Taylor stabbed Ledoux several times in an act of self defence. When Ledoux fell off him, Taylor ran out of his apartment and spent the rest of the night at a friend's house.

According to the prosecution, Ledoux was stabbed a total of eight times and died as a result of his wounds. When Taylor found out Ledoux had died he turned himself in the next day.

Taylor’s remaining sentence, after the two years and three months already served, is three years and nine months.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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