Lucassie Korgak of Iqaluit has been handed a life sentence with no chance of parole for 14 years in the killing of his girlfriend in 2019. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)JEFF PELLETIER

Lucassie Korgak’s history of domestic violence was a focus of his sentencing for the murder of his girlfriend in 2019.

In an Iqaluit courtroom Thursday, Justice Susan Charlesworth sentenced Korgak to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years

Korgak, 41, was to stand trial Monday for the second-degree murder of Enoosiq Tikivik. However, while jury selection was underway Korgak changed his plea to guilty.

At Thursday’s sentencing, Crown prosecutor Abel Dion outlined the case.

Korgak and Tikivik, 33, had been dating for six years, Dion told the court.

Korgak had been previously convicted of assaulting her, as well as a previous girlfriend.

Throughout his many convictions for assault and violating court orders dating back to 2004, several Nunavut justices said Korgak becomes “dangerous” to his partners when he drinks alcohol.

When Korgak killed Tikivik on Sept. 20, 2019, he was facing three charges of having assaulted her at different points in the year, and was under several court orders to not contact her and not consume or possess alcohol.

Despite that, Korgak invited Tikivik to his apartment where they drank beer and wine the night before he killed her, according to Dion.

After midnight, Tikivik decided she wanted to leave. Korgak became agitated and jealous because he thought that she was going to meet someone else.

He punched her and strangled her until she was unconscious.

After checking to find that she had no pulse, Korgak slashed Tikivik’s neck with a knife.

At around 4 a.m., Korgak walked from his apartment to the RCMP’s Iqaluit detachment. He told officers he thought his girlfriend was dead and he wanted them to check on her. He told them he didn’t know what had happened.

Korgak gave officers the keys to his apartment, where they found Tikivik’s body in a bloody crime scene.

Not yet a suspect, officers took Korgak to the house of his parents, who were sleeping.

At 6:36 a.m., Korgak went back to the RCMP in a taxi and met the same officers he spoke to earlier.

“I remember, I did it,” Korgak told them, Dion told the court.

Korgak was arrested and appeared in court later that day.

In subsequent RCMP interviews, Korgak admitted to his crimes. Before turning himself in, he thought about killing himself.

On Thursday, Dr. Reagan Gale, a clinical psychologist, shared her report on Korgak’s cognitive state.

She diagnosed Korgak with a “major neurocognitive disorder,” stemming from multiple traumatic brain injuries and his substance use disorder.

He has shown little “limited” improvement to his condition and is not likely to completely recover, she said.

Seven of Tikivik’s family members were in the courtroom Thursday. On the opposite side of the gallery were three members of Korgak’s family.

Different members of Tikivik’s family held up a framed photo of her, which could be seen by the judge, Korgak and people in the gallery.

The Crown submitted seven victim impact statements from Tikivik’s family.

Her eldest daughter described her mother as kind and caring, and described how devastating it was as a teenager to lose her.

She and her sister feared Korgak, who treated their mother like a “personal punching bag.”

When she learned of her mother’s death, she knew who was responsible.

“You took advantage of her kindness,” Tikivik’s daughter said to Korgak.

“You belong behind bars for the rest of your miserable life.”

Tikivik’s stepmother read the remaining impact statements aloud.

She described the painful four years for the family, waiting to confront Korgak.

“I hate you with all my heart,” she said.

Charlesworth appeared to be moved by the statements. She said the Tikivik family is strong and wished them the best while they heal.

Before leaving the courtroom to write her decision, Charlesworth asked Korgak if he wanted to speak.

Korgak apologized.

“I’m sorry to the family,” he said.

“I’m sorry to my family and the community too.”

In her decision, Charlesworth said Korgak needed to serve more than the minimum sentence because of his history of domestic violence, and because Tikivik was a vulnerable Indigenous woman in a position where she trusted him.

Charlesworth emphasized that the Parole Board of Canada makes decisions about parole, and that murderers often apply but are denied.

By Jeff Pelletier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 10, 2024 at 05:13

This item reprinted with permission from   Nunatsiaq News   Iqaluit, Nunavut
Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated