It's a truly bizarre homicide case described by prosecutors as akin to a "law school exam."
A Manitoba woman will soon learn whether she'll serve four years in prison for stabbing her common-law husband, who was run over by two separate drunk drivers after collapsing on the road as he walked to get medical help for the stab wounds.
Lois Cook, 39, pleaded guilty Friday to manslaughter for the death of Dave Hudson, 32 on May 31, 2010, in the community of Berens River north of Winnipeg.
The community was celebrating Treaty Days and Cook, Hudson and a number of others had been partying and drinking at a home. At some point in the evening, the couple got into a dispute. Cook stabbed Hudson twice in the arm, leaving two three-millimetre stab wounds.
The intoxicated victim appeared fine despite his bleeding arm. He even spoke to other party guests -- before walking up the road to a nearby relative's home to get a ride to the nursing station.
The Crown says he collapsed in the roadway "likely due to the loss of blood." Court heard he was run over by a drunk driver and then run over by another drunk driver. Only the second collision was witnessed -- by RCMP on their way to investigate the stabbing call.
The wounds Hudson suffered from being run over were "extremely dramatic" and he was covered with "significant road rash." Believing it was the collision they saw that killed him, RCMP charged the 27-year-old driver with impaired driving causing death.
It wasn't until after the pathologist concluded his autopsy's careful "second look" he discovered Hudson actually died of blood loss stemming from a minuscule nick in an artery from the stabbing, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Joan McKelvey was told.
Police then undertook another investigation, which saw the first drunk driver come forward to admit he hit Hudson, but police didn't lay charges. They also arrested Cook for his death.
"There were a lot of issues... law school exam-type issues," Crown attorney Dan Angus said. The case went to a preliminary hearing earlier this year where Cook was ultimately committed to stand trial.
Defence lawyer Scott Newman said the preliminary inquiry was necessary to sort out the facts of the case. Hudson's fatal stab injury was "by no means an obvious or significant wound," he said. If it had been caught in time, it was an "absolutely survivable" injury, Newman said of the medical evidence.
The Crown is seeking four years in prison for Cook, while Newman is asking for two years minus time served to keep her in the provincial jail system and placed on probation to help with a long-standing alcohol problem.
"I just want to apologize to the family for their loss, my loss and the children's loss," Cook said. "I hope they can forgive me one day."
McKelvey will issue a decision on Nov. 21.