A Huntsville man will remain in jail for another 521 days after being sentenced last week for indignity to a human body in the death of Mark Sweet.
On Feb. 16, 2023, Richard Pitt, 57, pled guilty in a Barrie courtroom and on Friday he was sentenced for his role in the 2021 cover-up of Sweet’s death. The 521 days to be served are in addition to the time Pitt has served in jail since he was first arrested and placed in custody on Nov. 22, 2021.
Mark Sweet, 58, of Novar was reported missing to the Huntsville OPP in November of 2021. His burnt remains were found by police at a Gryffin Lodge Rd property in Huntsville the following month.
Pitt, who owned the property, was subsequently charged, along with Lana MacDonald, 54, of Huntsville and Matthew Sturgess 38, also of Huntsville. All three eventually pled guilty.
All three individuals admitted to an agreed statement of facts during a January 2023 appearance in a Bracebridge courtroom.
Court heard that a tip to police led them to Pitt’s property but he originally denied any knowledge of Sweet’s whereabouts. However the officer noticed the human remains and an arrest was made.
Court heard that Sweet was a taxi driver in the area and would sometimes take Pitt to receive methadone. Sweet went to Pitt’s home in November of 2021 and the two men did fentanyl and crack cocaine, according to the statement of facts. The court heard that Sweet overdosed at Pitt’s residence, but Pitt did not attempt to contact emergency services. Evidence later determined he did not make attempts to resuscitate Sweet.
Instead Pitt reached out to MacDonald via phone calls and texts, and she advised him to administer a drug to revive Sweet, the court heard.
His body was found in a shallow pit, burned with the use of an accelerant, court heard.
MacDonald then contacted Sturgess to seek his assistance.
MacDonald was sentenced to nine months of house arrest and another six months under curfew. Sturgess was given a 12 month conditional sentence, as well as credit for 23 days served in presentence custody.
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