After finally receiving some peace after the verdict and sentencing of the man who pleaded guilty in the killing of a Ponoka man, the victim’s family is facing the ordeal of an appeal, as they had feared.
Tyler John Campbell was sentenced on Jan. 20, 2022, to 11 years and four months (minus time served) for the manslaughter with a firearm of Jeffery (Jeff) Kraft of Ponoka.
Kraft died on Dec., 15, 2019, from a gunshot wound to the chest after Campbell confronted him with a shotgun over an alleged debt.
Caitlin Kraft, Jeff’s sister, received notice on Aug. 11, 2022, that Campbell was appealing his sentence and that a date had been set for Dec. 13, 2022, at the Alberta Court of Appeal in Calgary.
“You think you’re done …” said Caitlin, adding it’s frustrating how long the justice system takes and how it seems to continually favour the accused and convicted over the victims.
“You start to cope and deal but here we are again, six months later,” she said. “In the end the criminal has more rights.”
Both the Crown and the defence had made a joint submission for a seven-year sentence for Campbell, which was rejected by the judge three times before the 11-year sentence was handed down almost seven months ago.
The Krafts had a feeling Campbell would appeal, but had thought the clock for that had run out by now.
On the night Kraft was killed, he was driven to a rural road near Lacombe. When the vehicle stopped, the female driver got out and opened the trunk. Campbell got out of the trunk and confronted Kraft with a 12-gauge shotgun. The gun went off and Kraft was fatally hit in the chest at close range.
After Campbell’s sentencing, the Krafts had said it felt like they could “finally breathe.”