Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Slaying victim was attacked before

Woman sought on warrants charged in boyfriend's death

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A Manitoba mother of six accused of fatally stabbing her boyfriend was wanted by police at the time of her arrest for allegedly attacking the same victim on two prior occasions, the Free Press has learned.

At the time of Valerie Assiniboine's arrest last week in connection with the killing of John David Goundry, she was being sought for two separate counts of assault with a weapon dating back to last year, court records show.

Police believe the 56-year-old attacked Goundry with a knife on July 27 and again with a plastic jug on Oct. 29, the records state.

Warrants on those charges remained outstanding until Assiniboine's arrest last Thursday. She hails from Long Plain First Nation.

Goundry, 51, was found slain in his Elgin Avenue suite on April 1.

Police reached out to the public soon after to establish a timeline of his movements between March 2 to 7.

He had only a small group of friends who visited his apartment, said police.

Investigators believe he was stabbed to death March 3.

Police are tight-lipped about the circumstances, having deemed it a domestic-violence case.

Investigators suspect the couple got into an escalating argument that resulted in Assiniboine allegedly grabbing a knife and stabbing Goundry in the upper body, police said.

Goundry had mobility issues and was once described in court as being a paraplegic.

He nearly was killed three years ago after a different woman -- a former girlfriend -- stabbed him at his apartment on Maryland Street.

The pair had a history of domestic violence.

An argument erupted. The woman impulsively stabbed him in the chest with a 10-inch steak knife and fled.

Goundry had to crawl outside his door to cry out for help from neighbours.

He was rushed to hospital and underwent a number of surgeries to fix a perforated artery behind his heart.

He spent weeks recuperating.

It's unclear when Assiniboine and Goundry met. At the time she's accused of first attacking him, however, she was on probation and barred from drinking or using illegal drugs. Police believe alcohol was a factor in the alleged assault in July.

In June 2012, Assiniboine was handed 10 months in jail to be followed by the two-year-long probation order after she pleaded guilty to stabbing a man at a party on Long Plain.

What led to the outburst of violence is murky. The victim said she attacked him, while others at the party told RCMP the victim attacked first and she retaliated.

Others were also accused of attacking the victim so Assiniboine's role in stabbing the man wasn't self-defence, provincial court Judge Jean McBride found.

Court heard probation officials considered Assiniboine a high risk to reoffend, largely based on her struggle with alcohol.

Assiniboine, who was jailed and denied bail after her arrest in the attack, vowed to seek help at a residential treatment facility.

"I realize now I need treatment for my alcoholism," she wrote in a letter to the court.

"My decision-making is affected by my drinking and I want to receive the help I need," Assiniboine wrote.

Goundry was born in Germany and came to Canada with family soon after.

He lived in Nova Scotia and Toronto before settling in Winnipeg.

After attending school at Louis Riel Collegiate, he worked for the Fresh Water Fish Marketing Corp. and Paragon Industries.

Goundry volunteered his time with outreach programs with the University of Winnipeg Students' Association.

He was known for his "big personality" and willingness to share his ideas and views, UWSA officials have said.

"He was someone who was very loyal," Ted Turner, outreach and special projects co-ordinator for the student association, told a news conference. "John was someone we'll miss greatly."

Goundry's became the first of three Winnipeg homicides so far this year police have linked to domestic violence.

There have been nine homicides overall.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 20, 2014 B1

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