Accused in Sherbrook Street homicide guilty in earlier stabbing
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/06/2019 (1449 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The accused who’s charged in Friday’s stabbing death of Robert Christian Donaldson pleaded guilty a decade ago to fatally stabbing a man in 2006.
In 2009, Rodney Byron Williams, then 24, admitted to killing Leslie Moneyas after a party at Hollow Water First Nation. Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Glenn Joyal heard that Williams fatally stabbed Moneyas five times, including four times in the back. Williams was sentenced to 18 years in prison minus time served for manslaughter.
On Sunday, the Winnipeg Police Service confirmed that same Rodney Byron Williams, now 34, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 51-year-old Donaldson, as well as assault with a weapon.
On Friday at about 8:45 p.m., police were called to a report of several males fighting at Sherbrook Street and Sara Avenue. There, they found Donaldson suffering from an upper-body stab wound and administered first aid. He was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he died.
People who knew Donaldson — the victim of Winnipeg’s 22nd homicide of the year — are mourning his loss and struggling to understand why the man was killed outside his building on Sherbrook Street.
“My heart is broken,” said Lorial Todd. In A Facebook post, the Winnipeg woman said she knew the victim.
“He was my very good friend and my love for 10 years,” Todd said.
“One person’s violence has changed the world for myself and his five children forever.”
Donaldson was the kind of person who helped people in need, she said.
“He didn’t like violence and would always protect his friends. He had the same friends from junior high. They are all just absolutely stunned.”
“He didn’t like violence and would always protect his friends. He had the same friends from junior high. They are all just absolutely stunned.” – Lorial Todd
A neighbour of Donaldson said he moved into the building less than a month ago and drove a company truck that was often parked out front on Sherbrook Street.
The neighbour, who didn’t want to be identified, said she witnessed the fatal incident in front of the building.
“It wasn’t a bar fight,” said the woman.
On Sunday, she was still shaken by what had happened and was unwilling to “unpack” her memories of it with a reporter. She said she spoke to police investigators Friday night.
On Sunday, police identification officers could be seen taking photos at the scene and in the secure lobby of the building.
The witness said there was a bloody handprint on one of the white surfaces by the entrance to the building and bloodstains on a nearby planter. She said she washed them off after police left.
In a press release issued earlier, police had asked for the driver of a white SUV who witnessed the attack to come forward. On Sunday, police said they’d spoken to the witness and were asking anyone else who hasn’t yet spoken to investigators to contact them at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.
Second recent random killing
The random nature of the homicide involving Donaldson and the June 2 killing of 32-year-old lawyer Justin Silicz during a fight with a group of unidentified men on Arlington Street is especially “disturbing,” police spokesman Const. Rob Carver said earlier.
Homicides often involve people who know each other or are in the same location for a reason.
In the case of both Donaldson’s death and Silicz’s death, there was no apparent connection between any of the people involved in either homicide.
“The last two homicides appear to be absolutely random attacks where the victim and the assailant didn’t know each other, didn’t have any sort of interaction where anyone can make any sense as to why there was an assault, let alone (one) ending in a murder. In the last couple (of homicides), I think that’s very disturbing, for anyone looking at these, to think that they’re just random,” Carver told reporters Saturday.
“The last two homicides appear to be absolutely random attacks where the victim and the assailant didn’t know each other, didn’t have any sort of interaction where anyone can make any sense as to why there was an assault, let alone (one) ending in a murder.”–Const. Rob Carver
Williams, who is considered innocent until proven guilty, told the Court of Queen’s Bench in 2009 that he was at a party in November 2006 when the trouble with Moneyas began.
Court heard that an inebriated Moneyas started threatening to fetch a knife and kill Williams, who left the party and avoided fighting. The two parted ways but Moneyas showed up an hour later at Williams’ home. The two fought before Williams fatally stabbed Moneyas.
Witnesses saw the two fist-fighting but no one saw the stabbing, court heard.
Police never found the knife but Williams told police Moneyas brought it and tried to stab him with it.
Williams’ lawyer Amanda Sansregret told the court that her client did not know why Moneyas wanted to beat him up.
“He has no idea what brought that on,” she said at the time.
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.