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September 2011




Police investigate the homicide of a 49-year-old man by his son in June 2009. On Thursday, the teen’s defence told court his father was murdered because the teen feared for his safety. (QMI Agency file photo)




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WINNIPEG – A Winnipeg teen feared for his life and that of his mother when he murdered and dismembered his abusive father, a court was told Thursday.


The now 19-year-old man “lived in a kind of fear we can only imagine,” said defence lawyer Saul Simmonds, who described the 49-year-old victim as “bordering on evil.”


The accused previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the June 2009 killing. The Crown is seeking the maximum youth sentence of 10 years custody and supervision.


Court heard the accused has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and has no friends. He lived alone with his father since he was 12, when his mother fled their home.


“It would be very difficult not to have sympathy for (the accused) in the situation he found himself in… but he had other options available to him,” Crown attorney Brian Sharpe said.


The then 17-year-old accused bludgeoned his father with a hammer and then stabbed him to death following an argument at their home. The next day, the teen dismembered his father’s body and drove the remains to a wooded area near a microwave tower north of Lake St. Martin.


A forensic psychiatrist who examined the teen said he dismembered his father’s body because he didn’t know how else to get it out of the house.


“This was not a further attack on the body but a very inappropriate problem-solving strategy,” Dr. Keith Hildahl told court.


Hildahl said the man is a low risk to kill again.


“I saw a traumatized boy living in fear in a situation that escalated to murder,” Hildahl said. “He’s not a walking time bomb waiting to explode.”


The accused’s mother was present in court and choked back tears through much of the hearing.


Court was told the man repeatedly threatened to kill his wife and tried grooming his son to beat the woman. Both mother and son suffered routine physical abuse at his hands.


“The nature of his evil was such he had (them) under his thumb,” said Simmonds, who argued the accused should serve no more than another two years in custody.


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