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Two plead guilty in Pukatawagan man's death

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Two Manitoba men have taken responsibility for the fatal stabbing of a Pukatawagan man who was brutally attacked while he slept.

Benjamin Melvin Dumas, 28, and Donald Wayne Colomb, 29, separately pleaded guilty to manslaughter this week for the August 26, 2009 killing of Patrick Bighetty, 26.

RCMP initially charged both men with second-degree murder.

Bighetty was found dead in the bathroom of a Pukatawagan home.

He had stab wounds to his abdomen and had several defensive wounds.

Witnesses told police Dumas and Colomb had come to their home early in the morning and tried to wash bloody clothes in their washing machine.

Pressed for information, the men initially said they'd done nothing, but each later admitted, "sorry, but we killed a guy just now," according to an agreed statement of facts presented in Dumas's case.

Another witness described them as "laughing" when they initially turned up.

Dumas and Colomb were arrested the same day by local RCMP.

In a formal statement to police, Colomb said he and Dumas had gone to the home with its owner and Bighetty was there, passed out in a bedroom.

They searched the place looking for money, and Dumas appeared with a knife and piece of rope.

"Dumas told Colomb he wanted to kill Patrick Bighetty," according to the agreed facts. Colomb told RCMP he thought his friend was kidding.

Colomb said Dumas then went in the bedroom and Bighetty was heard crying out: "How come you're trying to f--- kill me?"

Colomb said he saw blood on the floor and pushed his way into the room. Dumas handed him a knife, which he flung across the room.

"Colomb stated that Dumas had been aggressive towards him as well as to others that they were hanging out with earlier in the evening," the facts state.

"He believed he could have prevented this whole thing because he was in the right frame of mind.

"Colomb was unable to answer why he didn't stop Dumas from stabbing Patrick Bighetty."

Bighetty's DNA was matched to the clothes recovered from the washer and the knife RCMP seized from the bedroom.

Each man received a time-served sentence of four years and eight months for Bighetty's death.

Each was given double-time credit for their remand time, making their sentences on paper nine years and four months.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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