Skylar Patrick Bird leaves Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench after being sentenced. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski.

One of Troy Napope’s accused killers has entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder.

Skylar Patrick Bird, 30, received a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 years after court accepted a joint submission from the Crown and defence on Thursday afternoon. This relates to Bird’s involvement in the May 28, 2015 shooting death of Napope, 24.

The statement of facts read out by Crown prosecutor John Morrall relate to both men charged with murder in the death. Because the charges against the second man are still before the courts, he will be referred to as “the accused.”

Morrall said Napope had been “actively involved in Terror Squad” at the time of his death, and had brought a shotgun to a West Flat party mostly populated by Terror Squad members, where Bird and the accused showed up later on. The statement says at one point the two walked out to Napope’s car, where Napope was sitting in the driver’s seat with the shotgun in his lap, and the accused shot Napope in the leg before pulling him into the backseat.

Court heard the accused demanded and received money from Napope (which he’d earlier collected from drug deals), which Morrall pointed as part of the motivation behind the impending crimes. Court heard the trio then drove out to the location where Napope’s body was eventually found, with the accused shooting Napope in the head then ordering Bird to shoot him as well – which he did – before the two dragged Napope’s body to a nearby slough.

Napope’s body wasn’t found until the following spring, where RCMP investigators located a body in a farm field’s slough about five kilometres from the Prince Albert Penitentiary, west of the city.

In court, Morrall pointed to the indignity of these acts, not only to Napope but to his family.

“He died alone in that slough and was left alone to decompose,” Morrall said, as a number of Napope’s siblings sat in the gallery.

Troy Napope’s aunt Wanda Fourstar and sister Christie Napope. Photo by Chelsea Laskwoski.

Bird was then involved in getting gasoline, driving Napope’s car out near the R.M. of Buckland’s fire hall, taking off their clothes and throwing them in the car, and setting the car on fire, court heard.

Morrall said the killing was “callous, cowardly, and gang involved,” and that Bird was “used to facilitate murder” and cover it up.

He said the 10-year sentence is intended for people to understand that “gang life does have severe consequences.”

Bird did not address court, with his only words being “yes” as he entered pleas and accepted his sentence. Defence lawyer Tumi Odele said he is remorseful and is apologizing to the family.

Outside court, one of Napope’s sisters, who asked for anonymity, said the sentencing does close one chapter but “in no way does it feel like we’re ready to heal yet” because the other accused is still going through the courts.

The sister, who is one of nine siblings, said she is still troubled that Bird had an “opportunity before all of this to come clean and tell what happened and where he (Napope) was, and he (Bird) chose not to.”

Bird was also sentenced to six months, to run concurrently with his life sentence, for having a dangerous weapon while being held at the Prince Albert Correctional Centre. Morrall said the 7.5 inch knife was found in the cell area, and that Bird had said he had enemies and needed to protect himself.

Odele said Bird had received threats for his life from associates of Napope’s, and asked Justice D.B. Conkin to request that he be held in an out-of-province facility.

Odele also said Bird, a Montreal Lake Cree Nation band member, was married the month prior. He had endured an upbringing rife with abuse at the hands of a stepfather and while in foster care, and entered gang life as a way to find a sense of belonging, Odele said.