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Teen to be sentenced for killing abusive dad

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A Manitoba teen repeatedly stabbed his drunk and abusive dad for attacking his mom, then pleaded with 911 operators in a desperate bid to summon help to save his life.

That's the summary of a sad southwest Manitoba homicide case, the facts of which were revealed publicly for the first time Thursday in a Winnipeg courtroom. The Free Press is not identifying the small community where it happened as doing so could identify the offender, the victim and his family.

The boy, 15, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for fatally stabbing his father inside their home on Dec. 30, 2012. The Crown accepted the manslaughter plea in full answer to a charge of second-degree murder that RCMP initially laid.

The Crown will not seek an adult sentence for the killing, citing the presence of domestic violence and how it likely affected the teen and his family. He had no criminal record.

The teen concedes the force he used in coming to his mother's aid went beyond what was reasonable in the circumstances.

The victim, 42, had a history of alcohol abuse and acting violently towards his wife, according to prosecutors. The offender, who spent more time at home than his siblings, was exposed to the incidents on several occasions.

On the day of the killing, the father had pledged to quit drinking in the New Year but chose to drink all day. At one point, his wife asked the offender and his siblings to call 911, but she managed to calm things down, Crown attorney Dan Angus said.

Around 8 p.m., however, the victim and his wife got in an argument and he lashed out, striking her with a cellphone, threatening her and squeezing lemon juice into her eye, provincial court Judge Lee Ann Martin heard.

When she cried out in pain, the teen walked out of his room with a folding knife and stabbed the victim twice in the chest and once in the back.

The offender then immediately dialled 911 and confessed to the stabbing, pleading for help for his dad.

"I just want to say that I'm sorry — if he opens his eyes, I'll tell him I'm sorry," Angus said the teen told the dispatcher. "My little brother will grow up without a father," implored the teen. "If I could have just stopped to think this through, this never would have happened."

RCMP arrived within eight minutes of the call and found the victim on his back on the floor, the teen still clutching the telephone and covered in blood. He was initially arrested for aggravated assault but the charge was upgraded soon after to murder.

The youth remains on bail pending a sentencing hearing later this year. Martin ordered reports examining his mental state and personal circumstances. Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the youth faces a maximum sentence of three years split between custody and community supervision.

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