Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Man gets life sentence for brutally murdering gangsters

  • Print

A Winnipeg jury deliberated for less than five hours Thursday before convicting Kenneth Roulette of two counts of murder in connection with the grisly deaths of two city street gang members.

"By anyone's standards, these murders were vicious and brutal," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dewar told an expressionless Roulette before handing him a mandatory life sentence without a chance at parole eligibility for 25 years.

Roulette has been in custody since March 2010, charged with the first-degree murders of Jessie Henderson and Dennis Baptiste inside a suite at 729 Maryland St. on Jan. 31, 2009.

The two 23-year-old Mad Cowz members suffered multiple stab wounds and blunt-force trauma in what prosecutors contended was a planned act orchestrated by Roulette for money.

"Dennis was my partner, the father of my children and he did not deserve to have his life cruelly taken away," Baptiste's common-law wife, Krystal Merrick, said in a victim-impact statement read to the court by Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson. "Our lives will never be the same."

Henderson was just weeks away from becoming a dad, his estranged girlfriend said in her statement. "I had to watch him get buried on my due date," she wrote. "I am a single mom because of (Roulette's) actions," she said, adding Henderson and Baptiste themselves were "just kids."

Virtually all of the members of the six-man, six-woman jury who decided the facts of the grim case remained to see Roulette sentenced, his fate confirmed just 15 minutes after each juror was polled to show their decision about his guilt was unanimous.

The first-degree verdict suggests jurors found credible the testimony given by a key Crown witness -- evidence that came with warnings from Dewar they should view it with caution.

A key development in the 2 1/2-week trial was Dewar's decision -- made in the absence of the jury -- to allow them to hear testimony given at a preliminary hearing by Russell Glow, who died of natural causes earlier this year.

Glow, a crack addict with a criminal past, came forward to police and implicated Roulette in the murders in February 2010. In exchange, he was granted immunity from prosecution on unrelated gun and drug charges and put into witness protection.

Glow testified Roulette turned up at his Sherbrook Street home on the morning of the murders splattered with blood. He enlisted Glow to help him sell a large-screen television set police found was missing from the crime scene.

Also asked to help go fetch some electronics, Glow said he walked the short distance with Roulette back to 729 Maryland and heard Roulette confess to the murders as part of a contract killing.

Upon seeing Baptiste's body slumped in a pool of blood at the entranceway to the suite, Glow said he bolted, not wanting anything to do with the homicides. At the time he came forward, he was in jail. The deal he struck saw him released.

Forensic evidence of Roulette's DNA in the apartment -- found on hairs in a spot of Baptiste's blood -- was also tendered by the prosecution.

Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky attacked Glow's testimony, saying he sold his story to gain benefits and Glow admitted under oath to being a liar, cheat and criminal of convenience. "Would you buy a car from Russell Glow?" Brodsky asked jurors in his closing address.

Roulette declined to speak when offered the opportunity. He won't be eligible for parole until March 13, 2035.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 27, 2013 A10

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Lawless in the Morning: Gary answers your questions (March 25)

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hangs out on a birch tree in St. Vital. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is considered a keystone species. Other species take advantage of the holes that the birds make in trees. A group of sapsuckers are collectively known as a
  • Perfect Day- Paul Buteux walks  his dog Cassie Tuesday on the Sagimay Trail in Assiniboine Forest enjoying a almost perfect  fall day in Winnipeg- Standup photo – September 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Are you planning to go visit the new polar bear, Humphrey, at the Assiniboine Park Zoo?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google