Dean Pritchard, Winnipeg Free Press

Dean Pritchard

Winnipeg Free Press


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Recent articles by Dean:

Man who beat victim to death with bat given chance to change plea after Supreme Court ruling

The impact of a Supreme Court of Canada ruling — that the law barring the defence of extreme intoxication for some violent crimes is unconstitutional — is already being felt in Winnipeg courtrooms. → Read More

Crown asks for minimum 16 years without parole for 2019 murder

Cody Don Saunders went to Karen Letniak’s home looking for sex, but when his night didn’t end the way he wanted, he flew into a rage that ended in her death, a judge was told Monday.Saunders, 27, was convicted of second-degree murder following a jury trial in December. → Read More

Witnessing stabbing death of husband led woman to take own life, family tells court

Alvin Nelson will never be charged in Vanessa Chartrand’s death, but just as surely as he killed her husband with a stab wound to the heart, he claimed her life, too, her grieving father told a Winnipeg court. Thirty-year-old Russel Clarence Gibeault died March 12, 2021, after he was stabbed 14 times inside his Agnes Street home. → Read More

Crown quotes accused: ‘Rats deserve to die’

Jesse Gamblin attacked 28-year-old Norma Andrews with a baseball bat and a machete to teach her a fatal lesson about what happens to “rats,” a court heard Tuesday. “It was a lesson that would begin in full view of others and end in Norma Andrews’s death,” Crown attorney Chantal Boutin told Queen’s Bench Justice Brenda Keyser at the opening of Gamblin’s second-degree murder trial. → Read More

Six months for man who fled fatal collision

An Ashern cattle farmer who didn’t stop to help following a highway collision in which a 30-year-old was killed has been sentenced to six months in jail. Frankie Kehler, 45, was convicted after a trial last year on one count of failing to stop at the scene of an accident. → Read More

Springs Church fined $9,000 for breaching public health orders

A Winnipeg church has been fined $9,000 after it admitted a much-criticized graduation ceremony held at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic violated a public health order banning indoor gatherings. Springs Church pleaded guilty Monday to one count of violating the Public Health Act. → Read More

Judge finds WPS cop not guilty of assault, points to Crown’s decisions in ruling

A Winnipeg police officer acquitted just two months ago of trying to cancel his own speeding ticket has now been found not guilty of assaulting a man following a wild highway chase. Provincial court Judge Sidney Lerner found Patrol Sgt. → Read More

Judge rejected bid from Balaquit killer’s lawyer to take case away from jury

A week before a jury convicted him of manslaughter in the death of Eduardo Balaquit, lawyers for Kyle Pietz were urging a judge to rule there was no evidence to support a finding of guilt and take the case out of the jury’s hands. → Read More

Widow cries out as jury finds man guilty in Balaquit’s death

A jury has convicted Kyle Pietz of manslaughter in the death of office cleaner Eduardo Balaquit, accepting the Crown’s theory he killed Balaquit after forcing him to disclose his bank card numbers. Seated with her sons and other family members, Balaquit’s wife Illuminada clutched a wooden crucifix and cried out as the verdict was announced. → Read More

‘Trail of death and of debits’: closing arguments made in Balaquit homicide case

Exactly where Eduardo Balaquit’s body is or how he died remains a mystery, but there is no doubt it was Kyle Pietz who killed him, the Crown told jurors Tuesday in a Winnipeg courtroom. Balaquit, 59, disappeared June 4, 2018, after leaving home for Westcon Equipment and Rentals on Keewatin Street, where he had a contract as a cleaner. → Read More

Court hears challenge to Manitoba personal cannabis growth ban

MANITOBA’S ban on homegrown weed is undermining the federal government’s goal when it legalized marijuana in the first place, say lawyers for a local pot advocate fighting the prohibition. → Read More

Duress to play key role in murder trial

A Winnipeg woman charged in the murder of man whose charred remains were found in Portage la Prairie after he was tortured and held captive for several days is expected to claim she was acting under duress, a judge was told Monday. Chelsea O’Hanley, 26, is on trial charged with first-degree murder, indignity to human remains and accessory to murder after the fact. → Read More

Couple headed to prison for sex acts with boys, dogs

A Manitoba couple has been sentenced to four years in prison after admitting they recorded sex acts with two teenage boys, and in separate incidents, animals. “We are truly embarrassed of our actions that resulted in us being here today,” 61-year-old Donna Woodward told Queen’s Bench Justice Elliot Levin at a sentencing hearing Friday. → Read More

Creditors had sought accused in days before Balaquit slaying, police testify

For more than 20 years, cleaning the offices at Westcon Equipment and Rentals was part of Eduardo Balaquit’s nightly routine. At 6:05 p.m., June 4, 2018, the man, as he had done countless times before, entered his alarm code, disarming the Keewatin Street business’s security system. → Read More

Accused in Balaquit slaying had victim’s bank info, police testify

Eduardo Balaquit’s bank card numbers were located on a sticky note in the home of the man now on trial for killing him, jurors heard Tuesday. Winnipeg police found the paper stuck on the bottom of a 7-Eleven bag in a fridge while searching Kyle Pietz’s Toronto Street home on June 6, 2018, identification unit Const. → Read More

Accused killer drowning in debt, court told

Financial records show a man accused of killing Eduardo Balaquit during the course of a robbery was drowning in debt and had defaulted on several loans, jurors heard Monday. “Determining someone’s financial status can lead to a motive for a crime,” Winnipeg Police Service Sgt. → Read More

Garden biz on hook for illegal composting

A garden supply business has been ordered to pay $55,000 in fines and court costs after it flouted a court order to stop composting activities on its property.The ruling is the latest legal fallout in a long-standing — and sometimes violent — dispute between Samborski Garden Supplies Ltd. → Read More

Nygard challenging extradition order to U.S.

Disgraced fashion mogul Peter Nygard is fighting an order by the federal justice minister that he be extradited to the U.S. to face sex charges.In a notice of application filed Wednesday in the Manitoba Court of Appeal, Nygard is seeking to quash a March 22 order by federal Justice Minister David Lametti authorizing his extradition to the U.S. once a criminal case against him in Toronto has… → Read More

Judge urged to deliver life sentence to two-time killer

CONVICTED for the second time of stabbing a man to death, Rodney Williams should go to prison for life, with no chance of parole for 10 years, a judge was told Wednesday. “The fact that Mr. Williams has killed twice cannot be ignored,” Crown attorney Chantal Boutin told Justice Sheila McCarthy. → Read More

Detective testifies about accused’s reaction during arrest

Arrested by homicide detectives a day after Eduardo Balaquit was reported missing, Kyle Pietz expressed surprise it was believed he had been murdered, jurors heard Wednesday. “Is Eddie dead?” Winnipeg Police Service Sgt. → Read More