Craig Pope, 31, charged with 2nd-degree murder after fatal stabbing in St. John's

A 36-year-old man is dead and another has been charged with 2nd-degree murder after a stabbing near Mundy Pond in St. John's on Thursday.

Victim was 36-year-old David Collins

Craig Pope, shown in this photo circulated last September, was wanted by the RNC on numerous charges a year ago. (Photo courtesy RNC.)

Police confirm Craig Pope, 31, is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a 36-year-old man in St. John's Thursday afternoon. 

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Const. Geoff Higdon says witnesses led officers to Pope.

"We've spoken with witnesses who did, of course, see the incident or who were around at the time," Higdon said during a press conference Friday afternoon.

"So investigators are still collecting more information as to the exact lead up to, ultimately, the stabbing."

Pope made his first appearance in provincial court on Friday afternoon. He's also charged with two breaches of court orders.

Craig Pope, 31, made his first appearance in provincial court Friday afternoon. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said officers responded to a report that a man was stabbed in the Alderberry Lane area near Mundy Pond around 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

"When officers arrived on scene, they located an unconscious male who had sustained serious injuries and was conveyed to hospital by Eastern Health paramedics," Higdon said.

First responders performed CPR on the victim, 36-year-old David Collins of St. John's, but he died later that day from his injuries, Higdon said. 

Police said the altercation appears to have happened outside and Pope left the scene in a taxi. He was then found in the Elizabeth Avenue area of St. John's and was arrested without incident.

Investigators are working with medical examiners to determine the cause of death, Higdon said, calling it a "very active investigation."

Police are using Rovers searchers to look for evidence in both the areas where Collins and Pope were located.

RNC Cst. Geoff Higdon spoke to reporters at a press conference Friday afternoon. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

"We've been doing some canvassing as well, so people who live in either of those areas may have some of our criminal investigation division officers knock on their door and ask if they've seen anything," Higdon said.

The RNC said late Thursday both men knew each other and the stabbing was not believed to be a random act of violence.

"We don't believe there is any danger to the public," Higdon said.

"The investigation is ongoing at this time, one of the things that investigators are looking into, of course, is the motivation."

The murder charge comes almost exactly a year after the RNC sought Pope for uttering threats and six breaches of court orders. A warrant for his arrest was issued in September of 2016.

On May 31, Pope appeared in court in St. John's on charges fraud under $5,000, forging false documents, possessing property obtained by crime and a list of failures to comply with probation orders and recognizance conditions.

Pope will remain in custody until his next appearance on Sept. 18. He has yet to retain a lawyer.