Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Accused says killing an accident

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ROBERT Prince doesn't deny killing a man by slashing his throat. But he has asked a Winnipeg jury to find him not guilty of second-degree murder on the grounds the attack was a tragic accident.

Deliberations are expected to begin this morning in the case against Prince, 46.

"This is clearly a case of manslaughter, of an unintended killing," defence lawyer Ryan Amy said Thursday in his closing argument. He urged jurors to convict his client of the lesser charge, which doesn't carry the mandatory minimum life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.

Darryl John Sinclair, 45, suffered fatal injuries during the January 2011 incident.

Crown attorney Mark Kantor told jurors Thursday they should have no trouble finding that Prince knew exactly what he was doing when he stuck the knife into the victim's throat.

Jurors heard that trouble began when Sinclair and his girlfriend joined Prince for a night of drinking inside a Manitoba Housing apartment highrise at 269 Dufferin Ave., where all three lived.

Sinclair wanted to leave the gathering at Prince's suite, but his girlfriend did not, court was told. Sinclair then struck the woman in the face before fleeing. That's when Prince grabbed a knife, followed Sinclair into the hallway and attacked him with the single stab wound.

"He acted on the sudden, before his passions had cooled," Amy told jurors Thursday. "If he meant to kill, why did he allow (the victim) to walk away? Why didn't he, pardon the crassness, finish the job?"

Police found Sinclair collapsed in a pool of blood in a stairwell after one of the other tenants in the building called police.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2012 A16

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