By Delon Shurtz
Southern Alberta Newspapers – Lethbridge
Stacey Charles Wahpistikwan was only trying to protect his sister when he stabbed and killed the woman’s 36-year-old common-law spouse during a fight more than a year ago.
The accused was drinking with his victim, Silas Kiseyinewakup, and Jolene Wahpistikwan, in a trailer on a farm near Taber Sept. 22, 2015. When Kiseyinewakup assaulted his spouse during an argument, Stacey intervened and the two men stepped outside where they pushed and shoved each other.
A short time later, after they returned to the residence, Kiseyinewakup assaulted his spouse again, and the two men went outside to fight. While they were outside Jolene went to bed and did not wake up until a fellow farm worker arrived at 6 a.m. to get the men for work.
Stacey, 39, was asleep in bed but Kiseyinewakup was not in the trailer. Stacey said he last saw Kiseyinewakup asleep beside his spouse.
But when the woman went to find Kiseyinewakup, she discovered a patch of blood in the dirt near the trailer instead, and indications that someone had been dragged along the ground. Those drag marks led to an irrigation canal and culvert where they found Kiseyinewakup’s body submerged in water.
Stacey’s wet and blood-soaked clothes he wore that night were found in his duffle bag inside the trailer, and an RCMP lab determined the blood was from Kiseyinewakup.
Stacey was charged with second-degree murder, but he pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Friday, Jan. 27, in Lethbridge provincial court where the Crown explained how Kiseyinewakup died.
“The two men pushed each other and the fight escalated when Silas produced a knife,” Crown prosecutor Dawn Janecke said. “The accused took the knife from Silas and stabbed him.”
The accused tried to drag the man to the trailer, but when he realized he was dead, he dragged the body to the irrigation canal and rolled it into the water. Although the autopsy revealed Kiseyinewakup died of a stab wound to the left side of his chest, which pierced his heart, he was also stabbed in the left shoulder, the right side of his chest, left bicep and a finger on his right hand.
“Police recovered the knife, with Silas’ blood on it, inside a barrel on the farm that workers used to burn items,” Janecke said.
Wahpistikwan was not sentenced Friday, but the court ordered a pre-sentence report and a Gladue report, which will provide personal information about the accused to help the judge.
The matter has been adjourned to Feb. 16 when the Crown and defence are expected to present the judge with their recommendations for a jail sentence.