Cranbrook gang violence spills into KRCC, judge told

Violence between players in a Cranbrook gang war spilled over into a Kamloops prison, leading to one inmate being swarmed and beaten by four others, a judge heard Tuesday.

Jimmy Rossetti, 26, pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court to assault causing bodily harm. He was one of four people charged with beating Kevin Winters, 52, into unconsciousness in a KRCC cafeteria Dec. 30, 2010.

One of the other attackers was Chad Munroe, 33. Winters had just been convicted in court in Cranbrook of shooting Munroe in the leg and shoulder. He was convicted of aggravated assault.

Munroe was in prison awaiting trial on other charges stemming from a different incident in Cranbrook. For unknown reason, Winters and Munroe were being housed in the same unit.

Prosecutor Sarah Firestone told the court how Winters was sitting at a cafeteria table when one of the attackers came up behind him and sucker punched him in the head, knocking him to the floor.

The others, including Rosetti and Munroe, jumped in and kicked and punched Winters repeatedly until guards intervened. Winters suffered serious injuries, including broken ribs and a skull fracture. He has since recovered.

The Crown sought 12 months in jail consecutive to an unrelated jail term Rosetti is serving for offences out of Kelowna.

Justice Dev Dley said deterrence is paramount in cases like this, when violence is spawned by desires for retribution. He imposed the jail term sought by the Crown.

The violence in Cranbrook between Winters and Munroe was part of what police there described as a war between rival gangs seeking control of the Kootenay drug trade, according to reports in The Cransbrook Townsman.

Winters, 52, of Calgary, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for shooting Munroe. The sentence was handed down Jan. 17, 2011 - after the KRCC beating.

Munroe was shot in the street in front of the Sam Steele Hotel in downtown Cranbrook in October 2009.

Munroe and two others remain charged in relation to the KRCC attack on Winters. All are expected to face the charges in Kamloops court later this year.

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