Saskatoon man gets 5 years for fatal beating in Winkler bowling alley
Justin Bird pleaded guilty to killing 25-year-old with pool cue over $16-tab dispute
A Saskatoon man was sentenced to five years in prison for beating a man to death with a pool cue in a Winkler bowling alley in a dispute over a bill for $16.
Justin Bird, 29, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Sept. 24, 2016, beating death of Zachary Straughan, also from Saskatoon.
On Monday, Portage la Prairie provincial court Judge Lawrence Allen sentenced Bird to five years minus time served, which means he has three years less five days left in his sentence.
Bird also received a 10-year weapons prohibition and must submit his DNA to a database.
The Crown had argued for 10 years in prison, while the defence had argued for no more than four years.
On Sept. 24, 2016, Bird, Straughan, who was his co-worker, and another co-worker had been drinking, bowling and playing pool at the bowling alley in Winkler. They were all part of a concrete work crew doing a job in the small Manitoba city about 100 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.
Bird and Straughan began arguing over a $16 tab and started pushing each other.
After Straughan called Bird a racial slur, Bird hit Straughan once in the head with the thick end of a pool cue, knocking him to the floor, then twice more on his throat and back before dropping the pool cue and walking out of the bowling alley.
Straughan — a 25-year-old father of four — later died in Health Sciences Centre.
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With files from Dean Pritchard