Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fatal knifing nets 5-year term

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Solomon Turner died a brutal death in the basement of a North Point Douglas rooming house.

But who inflicted the fatal stab wound that ultimately killed him on May 10, 2011, will never be conclusively known.

That's one result of a Court of Queen's Bench hearing Wednesday in which one of two people who viciously assaulted Turner, 46, learned she'd have to serve five years in prison for her role in the slaying.

A jury convicted Wanda Bruce, 35, earlier this year of manslaughter. She stood trial on a charge of second-degree murder but was found not guilty.

A teenage witness saw Bruce take a knife from a desk and follow Lloyd Lindsay into the basement of 265 Austin St., Crown attorney Joanna Kostiuk said.

Turner, who was heavily intoxicated, had been dragged down there by Lindsay after a fight on the main floor.

"(The witness) clearly put a knife in Ms. Bruce's hands," Kostiuk told Justice Colleen Suche.

The teen said Bruce emerged from the basement without the knife but was upset. He said he went into the basement, found Turner lying in a pool of blood and believed he was dead.

Kostiuk asked the judge to infer Bruce inflicted the fatal wound with the weapon. "She was mad, she was still angry," she said.

Suche declined, suggesting if she made the finding, it would be based on testimony Lindsay gave at Bruce's trial. He denied being the one wielding the weapon. Due to lack of direct evidence, Suche was unable to find beyond a reasonable doubt Bruce was the stabber.

Lindsay told court he never saw a knife during the protracted assault he and Bruce inflicted on Turner, but did see her deliver what was termed a "hammer shot" with a closed fist to the victim's hip area. Turner suffered nine stab wounds to his legs, eight of them superficial.

It was Bruce who called 911 from the Northern Hotel after the attack to alert police to Turner's condition after she and Lindsay left him battered in the basement. Lindsay pleaded guilty to manslaughter in May 2012 and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

 

-- James Turner

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 19, 2013 A9

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