Strange twist in manslaughter case
Published Thursday, January 3, 2013 6:21PM CST
Last Updated Friday, January 4, 2013 9:25AM CST
There was a strange twist Thursday in a manslaughter case at Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon.
Arnold Halkett was being sentenced for stabbing Nicholas Smith, who died at a party in an apartment above Broadway Avenue. The attack happened last June.
At the end of his sentencing hearing, the judge asked Halkett if he had anything to add.
Halkett stunned the court when he said he had actually stabbed Smith in self defence. He claimed he was only defending himself after Smith pulled a knife, in an argument over drugs.
That ran counter to everything the court had heard up to that point.
There was a 20 minute adjournment.
When court resumed, the lawyer for Halkett told the judge that the story of self defence had actually come to Halkett in his dreams. The lawyer, George Combe, said his client would not change his plea of guilty to manslaughter.
Sentencing has now been adjourned until February 5.
Nicholas Smith died after being stabbed in an apartment building in the 800 block of Broadway Avenue, early in the morning of June 8.
Halkett, 47, was arrested a few days later. He was originally charged with second degree murder, but later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The Crown is asking for a 15 year sentence. The defence is asking for a 10 year sentence.
During the sentencing hearing, court heard Halkett has over 100 criminal convictions. Smith leaves behind an infant daughter, who was born after he died.