Blood Tribe Man Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charge in Wife's Death

A Crown prosecutor says Jimmy Badman tried to wake Sara-Jean Big Sorrel Horse by hitting her and falling on top of her when she had passed out while extremely intoxicated.

A Blood Tribe man will spend just less than a year in jail after pleading guilty Monday morning (Nov. 6) to a lesser charge of criminal negligence causing death in the 2015 death of his common law wife. Crown prosecutor Michael Fox told the court that Jimmy Badman, 43, and Sara-Jean Big Sorrel Horse, 27, had been sharing a tent in 2015 near Moses Lake, located on the Blood Indian Reserve. On June 26, 2015, Badman received a cheque from Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) and purchased alcohol with it. Fox says the two were extremely intoxicated when Big Sorrel Horse passed out in front of their tent. Badman then tried to wake her by hitting her and falling on top of her chest with his body several times. The couple left Moses Lake on the morning of June 27, 2015, and Big Sorrel Horse collapsed on their way back. She was unresponsive for 20 minutes. Badman went to a friend's house nearby to call 911 and began CPR on Big Sorrel Horse when he returned. She was taken to the Cardston Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. Fox notes that Big Sorrel Horse suffered 47 injuries, including displaced ribs that lacerated her lungs, liver, pancreas and bowel. Her official cause of death was blunt force trauma and Fox adds that she had severe internal bleeding. Fox offered a joint submission with defense lawyer Mansoor Khan of two years in jail for Bad Man, noting that a key witness in the case had died and that other witnesses were severely intoxicated at the time of the incident. Badman was supposed to begin a preliminary hearing on a charge of manslaughter Monday morning (Nov. 6) in order to determine if there would be enough evidence to proceed to trial, but opted instead to plead guilty to a lesser charge of criminal negligence causing death. The judge agreed to the two year sentence, pointing out Badman's Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) diagnosis and gladue factors as mitigating factors in the case. He also says that Badman's intention was not to harm Big Sorrel Horse. Badman has been in pre-trial custody for nearly nine months. Given one-and-a-half days credit by the judge, he has exactly 325 days left to serve behind bars. The judge also imposing a lifetime firearms ban as part of the sentence. -Sam Borsato

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