Canada Why Hunter’s alleged killer isn’t charged with first-degree murder: Lawyer
Charges upgraded to 2nd-degree murder against man accused of killing 3-year-old Winnipeg boy
The man arrested in the stabbing death of three-year-old Hunter Straight-Smith is now facing more serious charges of second-degree murder.Dan Jensen, 33, was arrested last week and initially charged with attempted murder. The charge has now been upgraded following Hunter's death, police said.
A former Manitoba Deputy Attorney General says the reason for a second-degree murder charge in the horrific stabbing death of three-year-old Hunter Haze Straight Smith is likely due to a very narrow definition of what constitutes first-degree murder.
Local lawyer Bruce MacFarlane told 680 CJOB that there are only a limited number of circumstances that can support a first-degree charge, citing the killing of a police officer and killing in the midst of a kidnapping or sexual assault.
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Ottawa police have issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for a man wanted in connection to a fatal stabbing in Ottawa's ByWard Market on Halloween night. Austin Simon, 39, died in hospital after he was stabbed outside the Shepherds of Good Hope shelter on Murray Street near King Edward Avenue on Oct. 31.On Friday, police issued an arrest warrant for Brandon Longo, 24, of Ottawa. Longo is charged with manslaughter in connection to the stabbing.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Brandon Longo, 24, has been charged with manslaughter in the stabbing death of Austin Simon.
"The facts as we know them can only be described as horrific, appalling, revolting... but that's not the basis for a charge," said MacFarlane.
"The key here is whether the Crown and the police can show that the killing was planned and deliberate. I think it's fairly clear the killing was deliberate, but the key is whether it was planned, and I'm not sure about that.
"Whether if it was, for instance, a last-minute decision, whether it was not considered, whether it was impulsive... but we don't know the evidence that led to a second-degree murder charge."
The accused, 33-year-old Daniel Jensen, is also charged with an earlier assault on the young child’s mother.
Toddler stabbed in Winnipeg has died: family
Three-year-old Hunter Haze Straight Smith has been taken off life support and has died, according to his family. He was stabbed on Wednesday morning while he slept in his Pritchard Avenue home.He was rushed to hospital, but his aunt Bianca Smith says he was brain dead and was taken off life support Saturday afternoon. She says he took his last breath around 4 p.m.READ MORE: Winnipeg toddler stabbed while he slept to be taken off life support: Family Daniel Jensen, 33, was arrested and is facing charges of aggravated assault and attempted murder.
Investigators allege Jensen was with the child’s mother, Clarise Smith, at a Main Street bar when the two got into a fight and she was assaulted.
They say he then went to a home in the 300 block of Pritchard Avenue, where three-year-old Hunter was stabbed multiple times.
MacFarlane said there's a big difference between first- and second-degree murder charges when it comes to sentencing.
"It's life in prison for both," he said. "The difference is the point at which you might become eligible for parole."
On a first-degree conviction, he said, the perpetrator is only eligible for parole after 25 years. For second-degree murder, that's reduced to 10 years, but the judge can use his or her discretion to increase that if necessary.
Penny Boudreau, who killed her daughter, gets more leaves from prison to go to church .
Penny Boudreau was sentenced to life in prison for strangling her daughter, Karissa Boudreau, 12, to death in 2008. The Parole Board of Canada recently granted her six escorted temporary absences to be used to go to church over a one-year period.Penny Boudreau killed her 12-year-old daughter, Karissa, in 2008. While she was initially charged with first-degree murder, she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2009.
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