SESAR Romero suffered in silence for years while his older half-brother physically, verbally and sexually abused him.
All of Romero's suppressed anger boiled to the surface when, following a night of heavy drinking, he grabbed a butcher knife and lashed out.
Nathan Kayseass, 24, died of multiple stab wounds in 2010. Romero, 24, was sentenced to seven years for the killing.
"His actions were clouded by both alcohol and rage," provincial court Judge Rob Finlayson said Tuesday upon hearing the "unusual" facts of the case. Lawyers compared the circumstances to the "burning bed" scenarios often seen in domestic-abuse homicides.
Romero pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the August 2010 killing of Kayseass. The Crown dropped a second-degree murder charge, which would have carried a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.
Romero was extremely intoxicated when he attacked Kayseass inside their Manitoba Housing unit in the 1400 block of Winnipeg Avenue. He ran to a neighbour's house and called 911, telling police at the scene, "I did it, it was me."
Romero has no prior criminal record and was subjected to what his lawyer called years of "ritual abuse" at the hands of Kayseass. He also had an untreated alcohol addiction.
"I believe if you could have dealt with your addiction to alcohol before August 2010, you would not be here today," Finlayson said.
Romero spent two years without bail in pretrial custody, for which Finlayson gave him credit of 271/2 months, based on his difficulty accessing programs and treatment. He will serve another four years, 81/2 months behind bars.
Crown and defence lawyers had made a joint recommendation for a sentence of seven to 10 years.
The mother of both men told court Tuesday she also was victimized by Kayseass. She was at a religious retreat in Saskatchewan the night of the stabbing. She described feeling a sense of "peace and tranquillity" with Kayseass now out of her life.
"Every aspect of the family has been impacted," Crown attorney Scott Cooper said.
The mother also described trying to get help from authorities to deal with the abusive situation but to no avail.
"She feels the system has failed her family," said defence lawyer Kathy Bueti.