Nunavut man pleads guilty to manslaughter

The trial of a Nunavut man charged with second-degree murder adjourned today after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Day one of the murder trial of a Kugaaruk, Nunavut, man began this morning in Iqaluit and wrapped up after an hour.

Bruce Kayaitok was charged with the second degree murder of his spouse five years ago. The facts in the case were laid out in court. On June 13, 2008, Bruce Kayaitok was at home in Kugaaruk, Nunavut, with his common law spouse Belinda Tootiak.

That morning there was an argument. Kayaitok, 37, admits he assaulted Tootiak. He stabbed her twice in the abdomen with a broken mop handle. Tootiak, who was 30, bled to death.  Their two sons - ages 3 and 5 - were home at the time

Today in the Nunavut Court of Justice, the prosecutor entered 14 exhibits including the weapon, videos and photos of the deceased and the crime scene. Kayaitok showed no emotion. He said in court he was not guilty of second degree murder, but was guilty of manslaughter. The defence called no evidence.

Both sides will submit their final arguments in writing on June 14. They have another two weeks after that to respond to each other's arguments in writing.

Justice Earl Johnson will give his decision on Aug. 23.

Kayaitok has been in custody since his arrest. There have been many delays in his case in part because there was a change in defence lawyers several times.


  • This story has been updated to correct the name of the victim.
    Feb 16, 2017 4:21 PM CT