St. Stephen – A St. Stephen man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the stabbing death of his wife. Irving John Hastey had been charged for stabbing his former partner, Crystal Ann Tracey, multiple times December 24, 2018, which also happened to be the victim’s 52nd birthday. During preliminary hearings, it was revealed Hastey had been under a previous court order to have no contact with Tracey, with the “sole exception of dealing with children and family members”. There had been a long history of abuse in the relationship, and Tracey was in the process of getting her own life back on track when she was killed by her former partner.
Initially charged with second degree murder, Hastey pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and was sentenced on the morning of January 27 by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Darrell Stephenson. Other charges against Hastey, including firearms and break and enter offenses, were withdrawn. Justice Stephenson said Tracey and Hastey were both victims of his crime, and that Hastey seems to be highly intelligent and a skilled tradesman.
Tracey had called the RCMP to request Hastey be removed from the apartment at 11:16 a.m. on Dec. 24, 2018. The two were known to have a long and dysfunctional relationship, and Hastey was not to have been at the residence on Schoodic Street. The line went dead when the call was transferred to a local operator, so emergency personnel were dispatched to the apartment. Tracey was found alive by members of the RCMP after having been stabbed multiple times by Hastey, with a knife still protruding from her chest. Hastey was also found lying unconscious on his back in the bathroom, but had no serious injuries.
Upon arriving six minutes after the 911 call was placed, officers had to break through the door to get to Tracey. At this point, Tracey was still alive and moving, with an officer speaking to her as she communicated by squeezing the officer’s hand, but died on the kitchen floor shortly after the arrival of emergency personnel.
Justice Stephenson said the untimely passing of Tracey has caused stress and emotional pain for many people, in particular, family members of both Hastey and Tracey, as well as their three children. Hastey’s sister, Brenda Richard, has taken on the responsibility of taking care of the children, which Justice Stephenson commended, saying her letter to the court featured largely in the pre-sentence report and would be referenced with his decision.
Pre-sentencing reports showed a history of domestic violence in the relationship, and toxicology reports showed that both Hastey and Tracey were highly intoxicated when the incident occurred. Justice Stephenson called the event tragic, and said her children have lost their mother and their father is being sentenced to prison. He also stated that the situation is tragic for Hastey, who he said was very intelligent and skilled.
Justice Stephenson stated in the courtroom that a message must be sent out against domestic violence, and that it does not belong in our society. He said he felt that the joint recommendation by both defense and the Crown prosecutor was appropriate. Hastey will receive credit of 1.5 for time already served. He was also ordered to provide a DNA sample to the court, and a prohibition order is in place.