July 4, 2020

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Man accused in homicide has lengthy criminal record

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/6/2019 (389 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The man charged with committing Winnipeg’s 22nd homicide of 2019 — what police are calling a random fatal stabbing — has a lengthy criminal history with multiple violent offences, according to Parole Board of Canada documents obtained by the Free Press.

Rodney Byron Williams, 34, has been charged with the Friday-night stabbing death of Robert Christian Donaldson, 51, near the intersection of Sherbrook Street and Sara Avenue.

Robert Donaldson was found suffering from a stab wound to his upper body and later died at the hospital. (Facebook photo)</p></p>

Robert Donaldson was found suffering from a stab wound to his upper body and later died at the hospital. (Facebook photo)

Police responded to the area at 8:45 p.m. after receiving reports of an a fight involving several men. Upon arrival, Donaldson was found suffering from a stab wound to his upper body. He later died at hospital.

On Monday, the Free Press reported Williams pleaded in guilty in 2009 to fatally stabbing a man three years earlier following a party at Hollow Water First Nation. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison, minus timed served.

However, Parole Board of Canada documents indicate at the time of his statutory release in October 2017, Williams was "serving a 12 year sentence for manslaughter."

In addition to his outstanding charges for the Friday-night slaying and his past conviction for manslaughter, Williams has 19 other criminal convictions on his adult rap sheet, including three for assault, one for assault causing bodily harm and one for assaulting a peace officer.

When the PBC processed his statutory release, they noted Williams had a criminal history punctuated with multiple violent entries and for whom "negative associates" were assessed as a "high-risk factor" for reoffending, due to his past involvement in a "security threat group."

Upon his release from custody Oct. 4, 2017, the board imposed conditions upon him — not to consume drugs or alcohol and not to associate with criminals — and classified him as "medium" with respect to reintegration potential.

"File information indicates that you are currently classified as a minimum security offender with high ratings in motivation and accountability.... You have completed several programs (and) you have been identified as engaged in your correctional plan," the report reads.

Williams and Donaldson are not believed to have known to each other prior to Friday's altercation, police said. In addition to second-degree murder, Williams has been charged with assault with a weapon in connection with the slaying.

Police are asking any witnesses who have not yet spoken to investigators to contact the homicide unit at 204-986-6219.



Twitter: @rk_thorpe

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.

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