A Saskatoon man who beat his roommate to death in a booze-fuelled argument is guilty of manslaughter, Queen's Bench Justice Mona Dovell ruled today.
Jake Ottertail had been charged with second degree murder in the death of Bert Haverkort on August 7, 2010. But Justice Dovell accepted that Ottertail had been provoked into losing control.
She said it hinged on booze, a threat – and a racial insult. Haverkort had told Ottertail "to calm down, you're going native on me."
Ottertail is aboriginal.
"Within minutes of the wrongful insult and threat being made to Jake, Bert was dead," wrote Justice Dovell in a 44-page ruling.
"Immediately after Jake "flipped right out" he was in hot pursuit of Bert, following him into his bedroom. Within minutes Darin [a friend visiting] heard the five or six cracking sounds from Bert's bedroom which the Court has concluded were Bert's ribs being broken. There was no time for Jake's passion to cool. He was out of control and unfortunately that resulted in the senseless death of Bert."
Outside court, defense lawyer Morris Bodnar said he's pleased with the decision. He requested a pre-sentence report and said that he wants Ottertail's aboriginal background and experiences factored into the sentence.
Ottertail returns to court July 16 for sentencing arguments.