'She stabbed me to get my pills': Jason Skinner's dying words part of evidence at Pamela Pike trial
Warning: This story contains language that some may find offensive
Just hours before his death, and with a knife still protruding from his chest, 34-year-old Jason Skinner told a police officer that Pamela Pike had stabbed him in an effort to steal his prescription drugs.
The RCMP officer who arrived at Skinner's apartment early on April 14, 2013 followed a trail of blood into the man's bedroom, where he was lying wounded after a struggle with Pike.
"She stabbed me to get my pills," Skinner alleged in a dying declaration revealed for the first time in a Grand Falls-Windsor courtroom on Wednesday.
What happened that night in April 2013?
With an earlier publication ban lifted, the public heard details of what happened the night Skinner was killed, as court hearings for a woman accused in his death resumed in central Newfoundland.
Pike was acquitted of first-degree murder, but was convicted of manslaughter and led away from the courtroom in handcuffs on Wednesday morning.
She pleaded guilty to the lesser charge, and will be sentenced Thursday.
Two of Jason Skinner's Aunts making statements now.<br><br>"What could have been a bright future for him is now replaced with emptiness" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CBCnl?src=hash">#CBCnl</a> <a href="https://t.co/XEIsoyEgKb">pic.twitter.com/XEIsoyEgKb</a>—@ChrisEnsingCBC
According to an agreed statement of facts, Pike and Wanda Ash, who was also found guilty of manslaughter, were at Skinner's home taking opioids and Ritalin the night he died.
When Skinner left the house, the two women started planning ways to rob him when he returned.
Pike picked up a large glass bottle and hit Skinner over the head, hoping to knock him out and steal his medication. He remained conscious, and the trio began to fight.
After she was pushed to the floor in the closet, Pike grabbed a "large kitchen knife," with a blade about eight inches long, and "waved it towards" Skinner, according to the agreed statement of facts.
"Skinner attempted to get the knife from her and a struggle ensued," the statement reads. "Skinner was unarmed before and during the struggle. At no point did he have control of the knife."
At one point during the altercation, Skinner yelled "Get the f--k out!"
After Pike and Skinner both fell to the floor near the apartment doorway, the fight moved to the kitchen where Skinner was stabbed near his collarbone, a wound that led to his death.
Skinner retreated to his bed, with the knife still protruding from his collarbone. Pike became emotional and started to cry, saying she was sorry.
I don't know if you guys can find it in your hearts to forgive me or not, but I truly am sorry.- Pamela Pike apologizes to Skinner family
Police arrived shortly afterwards, and found Skinner in his bed. He died in hospital.
There was a wide-ranging publication ban in Ash's trial, so Pike's case is the first day that the events of that night are being disclosed publicly.
7 year sentence recommended
Pike's defence lawyer, Bob Buckingham, and Crown attorney Tina Walsh submitted a joint proposal to Justice Donald Burrage that would see Pike sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.
With credit for time served, the submission would see Pike spend more than five years incarcerated.
Buckingham said that was reasonable considering the circumstances, and other cases which have been decided in Canadian courts.
According to her lawyer, Pike has been wrestling with addiction issues and is trying to take steps to overcome them, including seeing a psychiatrist. She's also on the methadone program.
Buckingham said despite a previous criminal record, Pike was not a "career criminal" and was not a violent person.
In court on Wednesday, Pike apologized to Skinner's family. She said she wakes up every morning tormented by memories of Skinner and the fatal fight.
"I don't know if you guys can find it in your hearts to forgive me or not, but I truly am sorry," she said.
"Drugs, it really is bad. It takes your life away," she added, crying.
Burrage said he needed time to consider the proposal and reasons set out by Buckingham, and would render his decision on Thursday.
Follow the developments from court in our live blog.