A Winnipeg man convicted of fatally stabbing his girlfriend in her suite at a Victor Street rooming house — his second conviction for manslaughter — was sentenced to 12 years Thursday for the seemingly unprovoked attack.
A jury convicted Ronald Alvin Thomas in February of manslaughter in the death of 44-year-old Beatrice Ann Crane, who died of a single stab wound on Nov. 21, 2014.
But at a sentencing hearing in May, Court of Queen’s bench Justice Christopher Martin said he would need more time to decide on an appropriate sentence.
With time served factored in, Thomas, who has a prior manslaughter conviction from 1990, will spend another seven years in prison.
Crown prosecutor Melissa Hazelton had asked Thomas be sentenced to 15 years, while the defence wanted no more than eight years.
‘A kind and loving person’
After stabbing Crane, then 43-year-old Thomas called 911, but claimed he didn’t know how she had been injured. He then fled to his suite before police arrived.
Officers found Crane sitting upright in a with a single stab wound in her side. There were no signs of a struggle inside the suite and no one else in the house heard a fight.
The blade had pierced her heart and she bled to death.
“He stabbed his girlfriend, apparently spontaneously in her home, for reasons that remain a mystery,” said Martin in his sentencing.
“His calling 911 for her demonstrated a degree of immediate regret and responsibility. However, that is offset by then quickly leaving her alone to avoid being connected and blamed [for] the crime.”
In a written victim impact statement, Crane’s older sister, Mary Muskego, said Crane was a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and friend, as well as “a kind and loving person, who gave what she had, even though she did not have much.
“It’s so hard thinking about how alone you must have felt when you took your last breath. I wish I was there holding your hand and telling you that you are not alone,” Muskego said.
“I felt another wound when I heard how they had found you sitting in a chair. How many hours did you suffer? How long did you wait for the help that never came?”
Published at Thu, 07 Jun 2018 15:57:17 -0400