Sunday April 20, 2014

Charge laid in gang-related murder

'It was a case of extensive and intensive police work that eventually led to the arrest'
file photo

There was a heavy police presence, including the gang task force, for the funeral of Archie Lepretre.

Kamloops RCMP have arrested three men in the beating death of Archie LePretre in a downtown elementary school yard in 2011.

RCMP Cpl. Cheryl Bush said Monday one of the three, 24-year-old Travis Johnny, has been charged and will appear in court Thursday while two other men were arrested and later released. Their role in the incident is still being investigated.

“It was a case of extensive and intensive police work that eventually led to the arrest,” she said.

LePretre was 22 years old on March 22, 2011, when he and his cousin were attacked by three men with baseball bats and knives late in the afternoon at the outdoor basketball court of Stuart Wood elementary school.

LePretre died from his injuries after paramedics tended to him on the court and then took him to Royal Inland Hospital. He was living in Vancouver, but was in Kamloops visiting his cousin.

Kamloops RCMP put out a call for tips, as did Crime Stoppers, and they did get some responses.

At the time, two of the suspects were described as heavy set, 220 to 230 pounds and between five feet six and five feet eight inches tall. One wore a black hat. The third has a slim build, is about five feet eight inches tall and weighs 180 to 190 pounds.

LePretre’s funeral put an extra police presence on the streets around the Schoening Funeral Home, as RCMP had concern about possible gang presence. The only known gang in Kamloops was Redd Alert, according to RCMP at the time.

A family friend told The Daily News then that LePretre had no gang ties. Bush said LePretre wasn’t a known gang member, but his cousin had some associations.

The men were targeted by the three men who were from a rival gang, she said.

“The indications are that there was some association to a gang out of the Lower Mainland that had ties to Kamloops at the time,” she said.

His obituary described LePretre as a kind young man who loved cooking and had recently graduated from business school with a long-term dream of opening his own restaurant.

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