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Man convicted of manslaughter in 2011 backyard stabbing

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A Winnipeg man was acquitted Friday of second-degree murder -- but convicted of manslaughter -- for the 2011 stabbing death of Steven Dodge.

A jury took just hours to deliberate before pronouncing Nathan Bricklin's fate.

Bricklin, 20, pleaded not guilty of Dodge's murder in the backyard of an Arlington Street home on June 26, 2011. He fought the case on the basis he was defending himself.

"The Crown must prove that it wasn't self-defence," defence lawyer Evan Roitenburg told the seven-man, five-woman jury in his closing statement delivered Thursday.

Roitenburg said Bricklin immediately tried to explain to police that he never meant to do Dodge harm, and that the victim "came after me."

"Here, you know what was in Nathan's mind because he told you in what he told the police," said Roitenburg.

In pressing for a murder conviction, prosecutors pointed to differing versions of what Bricklin told police of how Dodge came to be stabbed.

Earlier in the evening, Dodge, 26, had played "peacemaker" in a domestic-related argument Bricklin was having with a woman at the home. Bricklin was ultimately asked to leave and a confrontation with Dodge took place outside.

In his initial version to police, Bricklin said Dodge came up behind him and bit him on the arm, according to the Crown. Bricklin said he then turned to punch him and did so not knowing a knife was in his hand.

"Does that make any sense to you?," Crown attorney Brian Bell asked jurors. "We say it shouldn't."

Later in his police interview, said Bell, Bricklin said he injured the victim, "just once," later saying, "it could be two (times)."

A pathologist testified Dodge suffered nine stab wounds.

A sentencing hearing is pending.

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