A Halifax judge has ordered Nicolas Edward White to spend another nine years in prison after White admitted he killed his neighbour.
Joseph Walker, 76, was found dead in a Lower Sackville apartment in November 2010. The court heard Wednesday that Walker was stabbed with a kitchen knife, and there were too many wounds to count.
The prosecution and defence made a joint recommendation of nine more years in federal prison. White has already spent three years on remand.
The court heard Wednesday that White is schizophrenic, and receiving treatment in jail.
White was drunk at the time of the killing. He had been drinking with others in Walker’s apartment right before the stabbing.
The men lived in the same building. Walker's body was found by Halifax Regional Police in an apartment. Police then followed a trail of blood to a nearby cemetery, where they found White.
Crown prosecutor Cheryl Byard said it's not clear what motivated the killing.
"We have no idea, that’s the thing that we don't know because right up until the witnesses left the apartment of Mr. Walker, everybody was having a good time. Within a matter of minutes, the crashing and banging was heard and the other neighbour came home and looked out and saw Mr. White covered in blood and within 20 minutes of him last being seen, he was apprehended by the police dogs," she said.
"I guess for lack of a better word, I’m going to say at some point he snapped and at that point did he know what he was doing? I guess we’ll never know."
White apologized during his sentencing. Several members of Walker’s family were in the courtroom at the time.
Lisa Carr, Walker's granddaughter, said her grandfather — whom she called "Puppie Joe" — was a kind man.
"If you ever needed anything he would be there, even though he didn’t have much, he would give you whatever you needed. He was a kind soul," she said.
Carr said she is just trying to move on with her life but said that she didn't think nine years was a long enough sentence for White's crime.
Mary Fleet, Walker's sister, said she is not satisfied by the sentence.
"He had the nerve on his way out to stick his nose in the air, the guy that was just sentenced to a measly nine years, for the life of my brother? No … it’s not right," she said.
"When you combine his significant level of intoxication with a diagnosed mental illness," said Crown prosecutor Michelle James, "We really had some question about his ability to form the specific intent to kill Mr. Walker and that’s how we ended up where we ended it."
White was initially charged with second-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge on Sept. 3.