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Life sentence handed down for role in murder of Croatian Giant

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A Winnipeg man has been sentenced for his role in the slaying of former pro wrestler Ivan Radocaj.

Daniel Richard pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after admitting he was part of a plan to kill Radocaj, also known as the Croatian Giant. The 43-year-old victim was beaten to death inside his Interlake home in September 2007.

Richard was given a mandatory life sentence today with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.

Four others have already been handed lengthy prison terms for the homicide.

Melody Sanford, the victim's wife, along with Donald Richard and his mother, Rita Cushnie, were convicted in 2011 of first-degree murder and given life sentences with no chance of parole for at least 25 years. They were also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.

Another accused, Christopher Houle, also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2011 and was given life with no chance at parole for at least a decade.

Radocaj filed documents in August 2007 claiming Sanford "tricked" him into a fraudulent wedding weeks earlier because she was after his money -- including a $49,000 Manitoba Public Insurance settlement relating to a car crash in which he broke his neck. Radocaj also claimed Sanford vowed to send Winnipeg street gang members after him following their bitter breakup.

His father, Josip Radocaj, filed an affidavit as part of an emergency hearing seeking to have his son's assets frozen so Sanford couldn't sell them. He told court his son called hours before his death, claiming Sanford wanted to meet him.

"I told him not to go because I was afraid for him. My son replied 'I will try' and that he would call me the following day. That's the last time I ever heard from him," he said.

www.mikeoncrime.com

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