Brayden Bushby Trial into Death of Barb Kentner Wraps Up

Justice for Barbara Kentner
Justice for Barbara Kentner

Thunder Bay ON – Brayden Bushby Trial began on November 1, 2020 for the death of Barbara Kentner. The trial wrapped up on Thursday, November 5th.

Brayden Bushby , who was 18-years-old, at the time, court was told was sitting outside on the window door of the moving vehicle, and threw the heavy trailer hitch that seriously injured Barbara Kentner, a pedestrian, in the abdomen, with enough force, that it knocked Barbara Kentner to the ground.

Ms.  Barbara Kentner, who is from Wabigoon Lake First Nation, and mother to her teenage daughter Serena, required emergency surgery for a ruptured small intestine the day after the attack.

Kentner died six months later.

Brayden Bushby was the only one charged in a full 4 passenger vehicle that court was told contained two other males and a female who were all under 20 years old.

The courts were told that Nathan Antonizyn and Jordan Crupi, both made statements saying Brayden Bushby was the one who threw the trailer hitch, on the late evening, who was apparently intoxicated, and who said he wanted to go for a ride to, “yell at the prostitutes” around 1 am on January 29, 2017, in the central Fort William neighbourhood.

The court was not told who the young woman in the vehicle.

In November 2017, Brayden Bushby’s charges were upgraded to second-degree murder, then downgraded to manslaughter in September 2020.  Bushby’s trial began on November 2020.

In what she called a complicated case, Dr. Rose said in her autopsy report dated July 7, 2017, Ms. Kentner died of bronchopneumonia and acute chronic peritonitis.  July 4, 2017 at 5 am.  She found of that the consequences of a ‘traumatic rupture of small intestine’ caused by blunt force injury to her abdomen was a contributing factor to Ms. Kentner’s early death.

Dr. Rose said she also included end stage liver disease in her report because while it wa a significant contributing fact, it was NOT a direct cause of her death.  Although she was a very sick woman and she would have died from her liver disease, she would not have died when she did had she not been injured,’ Dr. Rose told the court. Dr. Rose explained the complications during her surgery – fluid and debris found floating around her intestines that had to be cleaned out and afterward from the final stages of liver disease.  She said while there was an indication Ms. Kentner may have had pneumonia when she was in the hospital, it is often the cause of death for people in palliative care, and her autopsy report found her lungs were two to three times heavier than they should be because of fluid.  Ms. Kentner had the surgery to repair the damage from the attack on January 29, 2017.

The court heard Ms. Kentner returned to hospital on February 11 of that year with stomach aches.  She was discharged on March 24 with a diagnosis of end stage liver disease and was recommended for palliative care.  She was admitted to hospice care in Thunder Bay on June 27, 2017 and died on July 4, 2017.

Defense Lawyer, George Joseph claimed, there was no evidence to support the theory that the attack of the Indigenous woman was racially motivated.  He said the case is about the legal causation, as opposed to medical, that led to Ms. Kentners death.

The defense says that it was the media which led the move to say the attack was racially motivated.

Cedar at the Sacred Fire
Cedar at the Sacred Fire

The spiritual support that has been surrounding the family during this horrific ordeal, as Melissa, sister who has lived it from the night this horror story began and Serena, daughter, who has stood by her mother’s bedside til her death.

As they both stood around the sacred fire in the evening of the first night, with the healing power of the jingle dress,  the sacred fire danced with the vibrations in prayer, in honour of all murdered and missing indigenous women and girls/two spirited/men and boys families.

The Kentner sisters grew up as intergenerational residential school in a world they knew nothing about nor understood why it was accepted, as many, who are intergenerational residential school.

The self blame that follows carries heavy in the hearts of the family, only for awhile, because one continues asking oneself, ‘What could I have done differently or if I would of… could of..should of”, but the elders say, our plan is laid out as it is supposed to be, and nobody said grieving by losing a loved one to violence, hate, or jealousy.  And this family can continue to smile, at an unjust system, knowing with understanding of their spirit and the connection with the Great Spirit is a sacred component to healing and the secret to keeping a strong healthy family.

The racism, hate or indifference, divide and conquer, shall not be allowed, condoned or justified any longer, getting back to our basics why our culture, our language, our governance system has worked for us since time immemorial, that is why we are still here, says elder.

Anishinabek people have believed in the balance of all living things on Earth and in the Sky.  After the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Girls two spirited(men and boys) Final Report, saying,  “Genocide”  with 231 Calls to Action on June 3, 2019 after 2 years of held hearings with many families and many that were not accounted for, across Canada.

We will keep you updated on this story.