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Brother sentenced to 4 years for deadly stabbing

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A Winnipeg man who fatally stabbed his older brother at a Thanksgiving family function in River Heights has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Justin Larche, 23, learned his fate today during an afternoon hearing in provincial court.

"It's surprising, troubling and purportedly out of character for (Larche) to have acted in such a violent manner," Judge Mary Kate Harvie said.

The Crown sought a prison term in the "upper" range of five to eight years.

Harvie rejected that recommendation, finding Larche's moral blameworthiness for the "senseless and tragic" death of his brother, Christopher, 25, didn't put him into that range of punishment.

An Oct. 8, 2012 holiday gathering at a home on Lindsay Street was peaceful until Christopher Larche began speaking rudely to his girlfriend and his younger brother tried to stop it, Harvie was previously told.

"The accused felt his brother was being aggressive in the way he was talking... he decided to step in," Crown attorney Carrie Ritchot said at a September sentencing hearing.

Both men had been drinking a fair amount of beer that night, court heard.

The brothers pushed and wrestled several times, prompting others to step in to break it up. Eventually, the dispute moved into the kitchen.

There, Christopher advanced towards Justin, prompting Justin to grab a steak knife off a dish rack and quickly stab him twice in the torso.

Realizing what he'd done, Justin helped his brother to the front lawn and tried to stop the bleeding as 911 was summoned.

Christopher died hours later in hospital, having suffered major wounds to his lung, liver and diaphragm that caused massive internal bleeding, Ritchot said.

Harvie found Justin Larche was sincerely remorseful, had no intention to kill and made a full emotional admission to police of what he did. "I deserve jail time for my brother's sake, so it brings justice in a way," Larche told a probation officer.

Defence lawyer Martin Minuk had requested a sentence of no more than 30 months with credit for time served in a bid to keep Larche in the provincial jail system instead of seeing him head off to federal prison. He had no prior record.

After Harvie credited Larche for a year of time spent on remand, he has three years left to serve.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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