The tragic case of Cameron Jack Walker’s (16) death makes me question the direction our society is heading.
What does the future hold for us when criminal and moral culpability ultimately becomes a thing of the past?
On January 29, 2011 at 12:50 am, I was jarred from my slumber by a phone call advising me I was required to head to the Public Safety Building to supervise a homicide investigation.
Preliminary information indicated a teenaged boy had been killed an hour or so earlier by an adult male suspect who was in custody.
That part, at least, was good news.
This was not going to be a, “who done it,” and all my time, energy and resources could be directed towards putting the pieces of the puzzle together and building a strong case for prosecution.
At 1:40 a.m., I arrived at my office and went right to work.
It was time to play catch up.
The first priority for any homicide supervisor centres on case orientation. The process requires a detailed review of computer generated call histories and thorough briefings with all uniform personnel assigned to the call.
Early information indicated Walker suffered three (3) stab wounds to his chest. It was clear, one or more of these injuries could have been fatal.
The suspect was determined to be an adult male identified as Matthew Craig Krasny (28) of Winnipeg.
Krasny’s younger brother was said to be a friend of the deceased teen.
By 3:20 a.m., I had garnered enough information to brief and assign tasks to Homicide, Major Crime and Forsenic Identification Unit (CSI) investigators.
The case was not complex.
The picture painted by witnesses was typical of many senseless killings in the YWG.
A house party, teenagers drinking, arguments ensuing, an edged weapon, a lapse of judgement and instant tragedy.
Only this time the victim was a sixteen (16) year old kid who stood five foot ten inches tall (5’10”) and weighed approximately one hundred-thirty eight (138) pounds.
Krasny was a twenty-eight (28) year old man who stood five foot six inches tall (5’6″) and weighed approximately one hundred forty-one (141) pounds.
When it comes to homicide investigation size really does matter. Especially when it comes to killings that involve some form of physical confrontation.
Did one of the participants have an overwhelming size and strength advantage that might justify the use of an edged weapon?
The question comes down to reality based fear.
Was the killer justified in using the weapon to defend himself from suffering serious bodily harm or death?
In this case the evidence was clear.
Krasny did not kill Cameron Walker in self-defence and had no reason to believe his life was in danger.
The fact he stabbed Walker three (3) times in the chest indicated he had intent to kill or at the very least, was reckless regarding the potential to inflict a fatal injury.
During his interrogation Krasny admitted he shouldn’t have stabbed Walker and what he did was wrong.
It was my assessment Krasny over-reacted to a situation that could have easily been settled with words, simple words.
As the mature, adult man in the equation, Krasny had and obligation to mediate the argument and not escalate it with the use of a deadly weapon.
At 9:45 a.m., I prepared a detailed synopsis of the evidence and submitted a report to Manitoba Justice for consideration.
After reviewing the facts, Senior Crown Attorney Russ Ridd authorized charges of 2nd degree murder.
Krasy was charged accordingly and detained at the Provincial Remand Center.
The case concluded last week with Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Deborah McCawley arriving at the astounding conclusion Krasny was guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter.
During the trial Krasny’s lawyer, Jody Ostapiw argued there was evidence her client acted in self-defense. “He had no choice but to resort to the knife,” she suggested.
“Not every stabbing resulting in death is automatically murder,” she stressed.
Crown Attorney Geoff Bayley properly argued there was ample evidence to support the fact Krasny overreacted to the situation and meant to cause serious harm or death by virtue of the fact he stabbed Walker multiple times.
“He had no choice but to resort to the knife.”
The suggestion is ludicrous.
Matthew Krasny had a wide array of options available to him that included walking away, de-escalation, conflict resolution or even calling the police.
Instead, he choose to pull a knife and plunge it into a teenaged kid’s chest not once, but three times. This was not a case of a split second loss of control and the single thrust of an edged weapon.
The autopsy revealed each thrust of Krasny’s steel blade penetrated Walker’s heart.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame Ostapiw for this perversion of justice. She did her job, it’s just unfortunate Justice McCawley couldn’t find the clarity to do hers.
How could an experienced Court of Queen’s Bench Justice call this anything but murder?
The decision sets the bar so low for societal standards of behaviour I fear for the other Cameron Walkers out there who may fall prey to overzealous killers who prefer edged weapons over temperate conflict resolution.
My heart breaks for Kim Walker.
No mother should have to watch her dying child struggle to take his last breath because of what truly amounted to be a trivial argument.
While most homicide cases amount to needless killings, Cameron Walker’s death was particularly senseless.
A familiar story.
Another shattered family.
Their search for some sense of justice forever dashed.
Their grief, pain and suffering compounded by the “justice” system.
The decline of personal responsibility.
The decline of society.
A licence to kill.
This is what some people want you to believe is justice.
Matthew Krasny will be sentenced some time next year.
Krasny was sentenced to seven (7) years incarceration after being convicted of manslaughter in this case.
The Crown sought a ten (10) year sentence.
The Defence asked for a four (4) year term.