Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Stony Mountain inmate charged in prison killing

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RCMP have charged a 24-year-old inmate at Stony Mountain Institution with the death of another inmate.

Byron Alden Jacob was charged Wednesday with the second-degree murder of Damiano Cosmo Valente, 69, RCMP said.

On June 12, Valente and Jacob were involved in an altercation at the institution. Valente, from Thunder Bay, was stabbed. He was transported to a Winnipeg hospital where he died on June 25.

An autopsy showed Valente had died from a single stab wound.

Jacob appeared before a Winnipeg court Thursday morning and remains in custody.

Valente was convicted in 2009 on two counts of counselling to commit murder.

According to an agreed statement of facts from Valente's trial, he and his wife, Maria, separated in March 1999 after more than 20 years of marriage.

On an afternoon between Dec. 30, 2006, and Jan. 2, 2007, Valente approached a man who was in Thunder Bay to attend a substance-abuse program. Valente was looking for a lighter for his cigarette.

Valente told the man about his hatred for Maria and his desire to kill her. Valente expressed his wish to burn the home he and Maria owned to the ground, and said he would pay someone $5,000 to perform the acts.

The man pretended to be interested, collected Valente's phone number and contacted police.

The man connected Valente with an undercover police officer who claimed he could perform the murder. Valente had several meetings with the officer and also requested the officer kill his wife's lawyer.

Valente was arrested in June 2007.

At the time of his death, Valente was almost three years into his sentence of nearly six years.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 27, 2012 A7

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