Jordan Bird-Night pleads guilty, sentenced 12 years for stabbing death of Keegan Venne
SASKATOON -- A man accused of killing another man outside a Saskatoon bar has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Keegan Venne, 27, was killed outside the North Mile bar on Sept. 28, 2019.
On Tuesday, Jordan Bird-Night pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years.
Court heard the two men were talking outside of the bar while having a smoke.
The bar’s surveillance footage shows Bird-Night and Venne get into an argument and exchange punches.
The video also showed Bird-Night making gang signs with his hands.
According to the facts of the case, Bird-Night stabbed Venne in the chest, picked up the knife, and drove off — leaving Venne bleeding outside the bar.
An autopsy showed Venne died from a single stab wound to the heart.
Based on witnesses at the bar, the argument between the two men was fuelled by race.
While both are Indigenous, Venne has lighter skin than Bird-Night.
“It appears he was responding to comments made about his skin colour,” Crown Prosecutor Lana Morelli told reporters outside the court house.
Numerous victim impact statements from Venne’s family were read to the judge.
Speaking through tears, Venne’s father shared his memory from the day he got a call that his oldest son was killed.
“I dropped to the floor in total disbelief. I tried to call him. When he didn’t answer, I knew it was true,” Venne’s dad said.
“I will never see his grandchildren. This is torture for me.”
In a rare courtroom moment, Venne’s mother, Connie, got her hair cut — as a sign of healing and strength.
“Cutting our hair means we are sacrificing a part of ourselves to our loved one,” Venne’s sister, who carried the scissors said.
“As our hair grows again, we rebuild our strength.”
Before beginning his prison sentence, Bird-Night apologized to Venne’s family from the prisoner’s box.
“I pray that one day you can forgive me. There’s nothing I can say that can make you feel better. I take full responsibility and I’m sorry,” Bird-Night said.