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Life sentence for Thompson man who killed Bobbie Lynn Moose in 2019

Initially charged with first-degree murder, Jack Flett pleaded guilty to manslaughter and can apply for parole after serving seven years.
Bobbie Lynn Moose was killed by Jack Flett in Thompson in October 2019. Flett pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years on Jan. 17.

A Thompson man was sentenced to life in prison on Jan. 17 for killing Bobbie Lynn Moose in October 2019.

Jack Clarence Flett, 53, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last August for Bobbie’s death. He was arrested in July 2021 and charged with first-degree murder in relation to the death of the 29-year-old mother of two from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation at Nelson House.

Flett will be eligible to apply for parole after serving seven years of his sentence. Because he has been in custody for 18 months since his arrest, he could apply for parole about five-and-a-half years from now after receiving credit for time served.

People sentenced to life in prison in Canada, with the exception of those convicted of offences like first- and second-degree murder, which carry minimum parole eligibility timelines, can apply for parole after serving seven years.

One of Bobbie’s sisters who attended the sentencing hearing with other family members, told the Thompson Citizen the day after the sentencing that they were in “disbelief” that Flett could apply to be released from prison as early as 2028 even though the Crown assured them that just because he can apply doesn’t mean he will be granted parole.

Victim impact statements from Bobbie’s sisters Cindy Linklater and Diane Moose were read at the sentencing.

"She didn't deserve to endure all the horrible things that happened to her that night," Linklater’s statement said. “To you, Jack Clarence Flett, I accepted that you plead guilty and I'm sorry for what happened, but I don't know if I can forgive you. Maybe you can ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you."

Diane Moose said Bobbie was a good mother, a good sister, a good cousin and a good friend.

“Bobbie will be in our hearts always as she was loved,” Diane wrote.

Bobbie was “always happy,” a sister who asked not to be named told the Citizen. She loved to spend time with her nieces and nephews, taking them to dances, powwows, gospel jams and the park, and often buying them things at the store.

“She loved music and had a guitar of her own,” said Bobbie’s sister. “She trusted people and was kind to many she had met and liked to give her things away to her friends that she had met.”

CBC reported that the agreement for Flett to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter was due in part to questions about the admissibility of Flett’s DNA, which matched a sample taken from Bobbie after her body was discovered in a grassy lot on Nelson Road on Oct. 17, 2019, just a few blocks from downtown Thompson.

The DNA sample was voluntarily given, but Flett was experiencing low blood sugar at the time he gave it, which may have affected his decision-making, Crown attorney Brent Davidson said. Flett was also asked to look at a form explaining what could be done with his DNA sample but may not have been able to read it due to impaired vision. He was not told by RCMP during a recorded interview that his DNA would be compared to samples found on Bobbie, though police said he was informed of this off-camera.

With no other evidence linking Flett to Bobbie’s killing, exclusion of that evidence could have led to him going free.

“If it had been excluded, there was no case, there was no prosecution, there would be no life sentence, there would be no justice at all,” Davidson said.

Court heard that Flett’s childhood in Tataskweyak Cree Nation was affected by domestic violence and alcoholism and was characterized by neglect and physical and sexual abuse, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. He had been homeless since the age of 40 and his alcohol addiction sometimes resulted in Flett becoming violent.

"Bobbie's murder is a prime example of his violence while drinking ... but a tragic background, as Mr. Flett has, does not excuse murder," Davidson said.

Flett was advised by the judge to use his time in prison to seek help.

"You really need to avail yourself, use whatever resources you can get while you serve your sentence to try to grapple with these serious problems that you have and that you've inherited," said Court of King's Bench Judge Gerald Chartier.

Bobbie’s family say Flett’s troubled past is unfortunate but doesn’t excuse his actions.

“My family and I were upset about what the lawyers said about Flett's past,” her sister said. “We’ll never forget what you Jack Clarence Flett have done so wrong to our sister Bobbie. You have stolen our sister from us.”

At the time Flett was arrested, RCMP said that investigators spent more than 25,000 hours trying to solve the case.

Bobbie frequently spent time in Thompson but did not have a home here and was last seen alive by one of her sisters when she was dropped off at Walmart about two-and-a-half weeks before her body was found.

Bobbie had a home with her sisters in NCN but often travelled to Thompson to see a man that she had a relationship with, said her sister, usually staying at either the Thompson Homeless Shelter or the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre hostel.

“She would tell her sisters that she had friends in Thompson that'll take care of her and that she'd be back in a couple of days,” her sister remembered.

After her body was found, her family had questions and worries.

“My sisters and I had to spend our days finding answers to what might have happened, the stress and fear of going to Thompson to do our family shopping not knowing why [this happened to Bobbie]. Why has this man done so wrong to our sister and stole her away from us and taken her life away?”

Efforts to obtain information about Bobbie’s death included billboard and pamphlet advertising in Thompson, English and Cree radio advertisements in Northern Manitoba, and door-to-door canvassing by police in Thompson.

Bobbie’s autopsy revealed bruises, scrapes and a fracture on her head and face, and at least three brain bleeds that led to swelling and her death.

"The actions perpetrated by Mr. Flett were vicious and were callous, and she suffered greatly while fighting for her life," Davidson said at the sentencing.

Her sister wonders how Bobbie, who made friends easily, ended up alone at the end of her life.

“Whoever her friends were, where were her friends then as this man was taking our sister’s life away from so many people that loved and cared about her?”

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