LIGHTING STRIKES TWICE IN YWG – 2nd 2014 Killing Deemed Justifiable Homicide

rayo 3In an extremely rare set of circumstances Manitoba Justice has classified another 2014 YWG killing as a justifiable homicide.

On April 19, 2014, shortly after 11:00 pm, emergency personnel were dispatched to the area of Dufferin Avenue and Salter Street regarding the report of an injured male on the road.

On arrival, a seventeen (17) year old male was located suffering from upper body injuries. He was transported to hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

A second injured male, eighteen (18) years of age, was located nearby.

He was transported to hospital in critical condition.

Police did not identify victims or any provide any information regarding a potential suspect (s).

On Friday, December 19, 2014, the WPS issued a press release indicating the investigation revealed the youths were injured during an attempt to victimize a thirty-eight (38) male in a strong-arm robbery.

Police say the man produced a weapon and stabbed both youths while trying to defend himself.  He subsequently fled the scene.

The man turned himself in to police a short time later at which time he was arrested and interviewed regarding the investigation.

A Crown Attorney was consulted and instructed police to release the man pending further investigation.

Once the investigation was complete, the case was thoroughly reviewed by officials with Manitoba Justice who determined no charges would be authorized regarding the matter.

The unidentified youth was the seventh (7th) reported homicide victim of 2014.

Manitoba Justice recently came to a similar conclusion regarding the death of Marlon Dean Laronde (Hart) (33) who died of blunt force trauma on May 18, 2014 after a good samaritan intervened in a domestic dispute.

The forty-five (45) year old man responsible for the death was released no charges.

Laronde was the tenth (10th) reported homicide victim of 2014.


The Public Prosecutions Branch has the responsibility and authority to determine what criminal cases are in the public interest to prosecute.

In arriving at the decision in these cases, the Crown has taken the position the men responsible for these deaths lacked the requisite intent to justify criminal charges.

In similar cases, the Crown has authorized criminal charges only to drop them after further review.

Findings of justifiable homicide are not unprecedented but are extremely rare occurrences in the same calendar year.

Historical Cases

On August 26, 1995, Marvin Johnson (58) became involved in a domestic dispute when his friend intervened and punched him twice in the face. Johnson died as a result of suffering a subdural hematoma. Johnson’s friend was subsequently charged with Manslaughter.  The charge was eventually stayed by the Crown.

On September 24, 2000, William Taylor (42) was punched in the head by a young man after a verbal dispute. Taylor fell to the ground and struck his head on the ground. He subsequently died from his injuries. The offender was charged with Manslaughter. (Disposition of charges not readily available)

On September 15, 2001, a young offender was killed after being struck over the head with a wood board after he brandished a knife and confronted a man during a strong-arm robbery attempt.  The case was reviewed by a Senior Crown Attorney who declined to authorize criminal charges.

On March 14, 2004, Denis Vandal (49) was punched in the head by a security guard at a drinking establishment. Vandal fell to the ground and struck his head on the floor. He subsequently died from his injuries. Glenn Lizchynsky (36) was charged with manslaughter but the charges were eventually dropped by the Crown. (Vandal was the brother of Winnipeg City Councillor Dan Vandal)

On April 14, 2010, Kelly Clay (18) was punched in the head by a bar patron at the Norvilla Hotel.  Clay fell to the ground and struck his head on the floor. Jeremy Botelho (23) was charged with manslaughter.  A jury found him not guilty of the charge.

On August 12, 2010, Ernest Dennis Desmarais (40) was involved in a domestic dispute when a twenty-three (23) year old man intervened. Desmarais was killed after suffering injuries in the physical confrontation that ensued. Senior Crown Attorney Brian Bell reviewed the case and declined to authorize charges. Significant evidence existed in the case suggesting Desmarais was killed in self-defense.

(This list is solely based on recollection and is not considered exhaustive.)


The Police Insider – April Deadly Month in City of Winnipeg


  1. James G Jewell

    Great observation.

    I wondered if any of my readers would seize on that point.

    Man kills unarmed teenager and the prosecutor calls it justifiable homicide.

    Maybe the Police don’t have a licence to kill after all.

    Maybe we shouldn’t rush to judgement and judge every case on its own merit.

    Thank you for commenting.

  2. James G Jewell


    That is the last case I referred to in the article.

    Crown Attorney Brian Bell said, “After reviewing the facts surrounding the case as provided by Police, and after reviewing the appropriate case law, the Crown is not satisfied there is any reasonable likelihood of a conviction in respect of a prosecution of Mr Peters in relation to the death of Mr Desmarais.”

    He essentially saw it as a justifiable homicide or self-defense.

    With the benefit of foresight he may have arrived at a different conclusion.

  3. Great editorial. Let’s not forget Kyle Jeremy Peters. A few years ago he was involved in an altercation with the victim, who entered Peters’ apartment uninvited. Peters took him outside, where he began to beat him and knocking him to the ground. That wasn’t enough, so Peters continued his assault by kicking the victim while he laid on the ground, ultimately killing him. The crown’s review was that no charges were to be laid. Fast forward to October 2013, Peters continues his violent behaviour on his common-law wife when an off-duty police officer intervenes. The officer suffered permanent injuries as a result. Peters is now serving 2 years less one day.

  4. Interesting set of incidents here.

    This is a rhetorical question but can you imagine the outcry (again, as always) if it was a police officer who may have used his or her firearm, an intermediate weapon or some other use of force…..in order to protect life?

    I can’t breathe……….thinking about that.

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