On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the Winnipeg Police Service issued a news release identifying the suspect charged in the senseless killing of a Winnipeg Transit Driver.
Police advised they have charged Brian Kyle Thomas (22) of Winnipeg with a number of charges including;
- 2nd Degree Murder
- Possession of a Weapon
- Fail to Comply with a Probation Order
Police indicate the investigation revealed Thomas was the lone passenger on the bus that had arrived at its final destination in the early morning hours.
The victim, Transit Driver Irvine Jubal Fraser (58), approached Thomas and requested he exit the bus as it was at the end of the line. Thomas attended the front of the bus and indicated he did not want to exit. After repeated requests, Fraser escorted Thomas off the bus.
Police say a verbal argument ensued that escalated into a physical altercation outside of the bus. Thomas is alleged to have produced a knife which he used to stab Fraser multiple times in the upper body. Fraser collapsed and Thomas fled the scene on foot.
Thomas was arrested nearby on the ice-covered Red River and was taken into custody.
Members of the K9 Unit, General Patrol and the Police Cadets were all credited with assisting with the arrest.
Fraser was located at the scene in critical condition and was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
The WPS Major Crimes Unit is continuing the investigation.
Fraser is the 5th reported homicide victim in Winnipeg this year.
Police have solved 3 of the 5 killings to date.
A gofundme page has been set up to assist and support the victim’s widow.
The charges laid in this case offer much insight.
The 2nd Degree Murder Charge
In order to lay a 2nd degree murder charge evidence must exist that suggests the person who caused the death;
- meant to cause the death (intent)
- meant to cause bodily harm that they knew was likely to cause death and was reckless whether death ensued or not
In this case, the degree of violence used in the killing would certainly factor into the decision to lay a 2nd degree murder charge.
(Murder charges are often plea bargained or reduced if evidence exists that the accused person was under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other mind altering substances. The existence of this evidence can reduce the degree of intent that can be proven in a court of law. When this kind of evidence exists murder charges are often reduced to manslaughter.)
The Possession of a Weapon Charge
The possession of a weapon charge offers us insight into the mind of the accused killer.
Why was he armed with an edged weapon?
Is he pre-disposed to violent criminal behaviour?
The last charge offers greater understanding.
The Fail to Comply with Probation Order Charge
The FTC with probation order connects the dots.
It tells us the alleged killer has been in the “system.”
Information has now emerged that Thomas plead guilty to an assault charge last November.
(A charge of uttering threats was dropped by the Crown.)
Provincial Court Judge Catherine Carlson sentenced Thomas to 90 days in jail and time served. He was placed on 18 months of supervised probation.
His probation order would have had several conditions attached to it – conditions he clearly breached in light of the murder charge he now faces.
Media outlets report Thomas has a long list of criminal convictions in the recent past that includes;
- Utter Threats to Kill (female victim)
- Assaults (3 charges)
I’m confident a forensic audit of Thomas’ criminal record would expose more of the same soft on crime approach that keeps violent criminal offenders like him on our streets.
It’s become a disturbing trend.
Let’s hope justice is done.