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Man who beat and stabbed friend to death gets 8 years in prison

For what the judge described as the "slaughter" of his friend, Shane Baum has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Shane Baum killed Jason Dirks in June 2018

Shane Baum, pictured, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting to the fatal beating and stabbing of his friend Jason Dirks in 2018. (Facebook)

For what the judge described as the "slaughter" of his friend, Shane Baum has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Jason Dirks, 46, was fatally beaten and stabbed by Baum in June 2018. 

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Earl Wilson handed down the sentence Thursday. With credit for the time he's already served, Baum has about five years left on his sentence.

Originally charged with second-degree murder, Baum, 42, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2019 after a plea was negotiated between defence lawyer Adriano Iovinelli and prosecutor Sonya Bertrand.

Although the two men met at an addictions treatment program months before the killing, they were known to spend time together drinking and doing drugs. 

'Don't hurt me'

The two men had a "tumultuous" relationship and often physically fought, according to a court document presented at Baum's guilty plea.

Days before the killing, Dirks accused Baum, who did not have a bank account, of stealing his bank card and withdrawing $800.

Dirks sent angry text messages to Baum but on the day of his death, Baum went over to Dirks's basement apartment and the two hung out, drinking and taking cocaine.

Around 10:30 p.m., Dirks's upstairs neighbours could hear him saying "don't hurt me, don't hurt me."

Victim dumped in neighbour's apartment

The neighbour could then hear stomping up the stairs and someone attempting to kick in the dining room door, which connected the basement and upstairs apartment. 

She hid in a bedroom and called 911.

When she emerged, Dirks was in her apartment, dying on the floor in a pool of blood. 

She said it looked like Dirks had been tortured because his fingers seemed broken and he had dark stains on his jeans.

DNA evidence

As they waited for police and paramedics to arrive, the neighbour and her friend tried to perform first aid.

Dirks died hours later in hospital. 

Surveillance camera footage shows Baum trying to withdraw money from Dirks's bank account at nearby ATMs in the minutes after the killing. 

Dirks's DNA was found on the shirt and shorts Baum was wearing on the night of the homicide.

Police found blood from both Dirks and Baum on a broken shovel handle seized from the victim's apartment. The space was covered in Dirks's blood. 

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.

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