The Winnipeg Police Service is reporting another homicide in River City.
On May 30, 2014, shortly before 12:00 noon, a group of men came upon a man known to them who was sleeping in the area of the 600 block of Century Street.
The men proceeded to viciously assault the victim and subsequently fled from the scene.
Sometime later a passer-by located the injured man and notified police.
The victim was transported to hospital and was later pronounced deceased.
Police identified the victim as Wayne Michael Harper (31) years of Winnipeg.
Harper is reported to have died from blunt force trauma.
Members of the WPS Homicide and Major Crimes Unit participated in a lengthy investigation.
On December 21, 2014, police arrested Oliver James Okemow (39) years and charged him with manslaughter due to his alleged involvement.
Okemow was detained in custody.
Police report the investigation is continuing.
Harper is the twenty-fifth (25th) reported homicide victim reported in Winnipeg in 2014.
Last year the City of Winnipeg recorded a total of twenty-five (25) homicides.
It’s been a strange year in Murder City.
Police have recently laid charges in two (2) homicide cases that have taken months to resolve.
On December 16th, 2014, Police announced the arrest of Shane Quon (44) who was charged with manslaughter in connection with the March 17, 2014 death of Roseanne Eaglestick.
Elapsed Time – 275 days to resolution
On December 22, 2014, Police announced the arrest of Oliver Okemow (39) who was charged with manslaughter in connection with the May 30th, 2014 death of Wayne Harper (31).
Elapsed Time – 206 days to resolution
The First 48 is a widely accepted industry standard when it comes to the time frame required for the successful resolution of homicide cases. If a homicide case isn’t solved in the First 48 it becomes increasingly more difficult to solve.
The fact these killings were solved after a lengthy period of time elapsed is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the investigative units assigned to work the cases.
In addition to the lengthy case resolutions, 2014 will go down as the year of the justified killing.
On April 19, 2014, a seventeen (17) year old male youth was stabbed to death by a thirty-eight (38) year old man. The investigation revealed the man stabbed the youth in self-defense after he was attacked during a strong-arm robbery.
On May 18, 2014, Marlon Dean Laronde (33) died from blunt force trauma after a forty-five (45) year old man assaulted him while intervening in a domestic dispute.
Both cases were reviewed by Justice Officials who determined the homicides were justifiable and that no reasonable likelihood of conviction existed in either case.
While such findings are not unprecedented, it is extremely rare that two such cases have occurred in the same year.
It was interesting to note not a whisper was heard from the WPS in connection with the Okemow killing.
Police normally release information regarding suspicious deaths and homicides.
Previous dates when Winnipeg Recorded the 25th Homicide of the year;
2013 – Dec 26/27
2012 – Oct 18
2011 – Aug 20 (Record Year – 41 Homicides)
2010 – Total of 22 Homicides Reported
2009 – Nov 21
2008 – Nov 19
2007 – Nov 18
2006 – Total of 22 Homicides Reported*
2005 – Dec 30
2004 – Oct 15 (Previous Record Year – 34 Homicides) (100% solvency)
*Murder of Stephen Pelletier on Oct 4 added to stats as homicide #23 once charges were laid. Pelletier case originally reported as a missing person.