Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Youth admits to fatal stabbing, agrees to adult punishment

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Ronnie Kakegamic had just told his grandmother he loved her when he was stabbed to death by a stranger less than two blocks from home. Now the Winnipeg youth who committed the deadly April 2010 attack has taken responsibility - and will be given an adult dose of punishment.

The accused, who was 17 at the time, pleaded guilty to manslaughter this week. He also agreed to be raised to adult court, where Crown and defence lawyers will make a joint-recommendation later this spring for a nine-year sentence.

As a youth, he would have only faced a maximum of two years behind bars for the offence.

"He waives any rights he has as a youth and agrees to serve his sentence as an adult," prosecutor Dan Angus told court. The youth was originally charged with second-degree murder, but Angus said his extreme intoxication at the time of the stabbing was the cause of the reduced offence.

Kakegamic, 21, had just left his grandma’s Flora Avenue house and was walking near the corner of Pritchard Avenue and Powers Street when the killer approached. An argument broke out, despite the fact the two men didn’t know each other. Further details of their issues are expected to be presented at the sentencing hearing.

Kakegamic was stabbed at least four times in the eye, cheek, arm and chest. He suffered massive blood loss and died in hospital later that night.

"He was a beautiful boy," his grandmother, Nora Fiddler, told the Free Press at the time. "He’d always come here and say ‘I love you kookum." Kookum is the Oji-Cree word for grandmother.

She said her grandson had fathered three children and he and his girlfriend were expecting a baby. Kakegamic was getting life-skills training and treatment for addictions, and had struggled with gang involvement over the years and was trying to get out, she said.

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