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CanadaEdmonton man pleads guilty to manslaughter for fatal arson fire

15:21  07 november  2018
15:21  07 november  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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An Edmonton man who started a fatal arson fire three years ago because he was angry at his former common-law wife has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Dakota Kashtin Cappo was initially charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fire, which killed a man he didn't know.

A jury trial was set to begin Tuesday and last for three weeks. Before the trail began, Cappo met with his defence lawyer and agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

In an agreed statement of facts, Cappo admitted he was high on methamphetamine on the morning of Nov. 29, 2015, when he started the fire in the apartment complex where his former common-law wife lived with their two children.

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The fire spread quickly throughout the building in the Queen Mary Park neighbourhood. Thirty-one people were evacuated.

During a door-to-door check, firefighters found Gregory Fenton unconscious inside Suite No. 303. He was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, where he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Fenton, 54, never regained consciousness and died on Dec. 4, 2015.

Crown prosecutor Terry Hoffman said the medical examiner's office found Fenton suffered no "acute internal injuries."

He said Fenton died from smoke inhalation.

Pattern of harassment

According to the agreed statement of facts, Cappo was involved in six-year relationship with a woman, and they had two children together.

The woman said she ended the relationship in 2013 and restricted access to the children because Cappo was abusing crystal methamphetamine.

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Michael Gress, 37, also pleaded guilty to three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm and fleeing the scene of a serious accident for his part in a 2, 2017 when Michael Gress, of St. Albert, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with a fatal hit and run that killed House in March 2016.

Jack Frye pleaded guilty to six counts of arson , two counts of attempted arson and one count of attempted second-degree burglary, all felonies Frye also attempted to get onto the campus and set a blaze on March 30, but was unsuccessful, and he also tried to ignite a van fire near the high school

Cappo moved to Saskatchewan, but returned to Edmonton in August 2015.

Soon after, he began to threaten the woman on Facebook. He threw rocks and a wrench through her apartment windows and the slashed the tires on her car.

The woman lodged three complaints with Edmonton police near the end of October. She was granted an emergency protection order on Oct. 31.

The harassment and threats continued throughout November.

On Nov. 27, at 2:52 a.m., Cappo made another post on his Facebook page. "I love the way fire burns," he wrote. "And it takes everything away. Plus the smell of smoke remains (sic) me of how the job is done right."

Cappo snuck into the 21-suite apartment building where his former common-law wife lived in the early hours of Nov. 29.

He used an accelerant to start a fire in the south stairwell.

Up to 50 firefighters and Edmonton police responded. The fire caused about $2.5 million in damage.

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Edmonton man pleads guilty to manslaughter for fatal arson fire © Facebook Dakota Kashtin Cappo, 25, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Tuesday for an arson fire that killed a man in 2015.

Cappo was arrested in September 2016 and charged with first-degree murder and arson.

He is expected back in court on Dec. 7 when a date for his sentencing hearing will be set.

Edmonton man pleads guilty to manslaughter for fatal arson fire © Facebook Dakota Kashtin Cappo initially faced a first-degree murder charge.

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