Manitoba

Youth charged with 2nd degree murder in Kathleen Leary death

A youth known to Katheen Leary has been charged in the death of the 66-year-old grandmother.

Youth charged with 2nd degree murder in Kathleen Leary death

7 years ago
Duration 1:01
A youth known to Katheen Leary has been charged in the death of the 66-year-old grandmother. 1:01

A youth known to Katheen Leary has been charged in the death of the 66-year-old grandmother.

The youth was arrested at the scene but police won't release the age or gender of the suspect. However, in their press release, police said "he" has been detained in custody.
Kathleen Leary was killed inside her home on Cheltenham Cove, in Winnipeg's Charleswood neighbourhood, on Tuesday. (Facebook)

No information was provided about any weapons used in the homicide.

"We're being as vague as possible," said Const. Eric Hofley, adding police must abide by rules in the Youth Criminal Justice Act. "I can't expand any further."

The suspect is charged with second-degree murder and no other arrests are expected, he said, adding some media outlets in the city had reported the homicide was connected to a break-and-enter or home invasion, but that is not true.

At times, Hofley became irked by reporters probing for more information, telling them "I can't make it any clearer" that the police are constrained by the YCJA from saying anything more.

"We have to ensure the rights afforded to the accused are not trampled upon," he said. "There is no further information to be provided at this time."

Leary, originally from Norway House Cree Nation, was killed inside her home on Cheltenham Cove in Winnipeg's Charleswood neighbourhood around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

When police arrived, she was found suffering from injuries to her upper body and later died.

'Champion of education'

Leary had a long history of involvement with University College of the North (UCN) and has been described as a tireless advocate for First Nations issues in northern Manitoba. 

"Such a tragic ending for such a capable person, a caring person, for one who was so community-minded and was always thinking of what was best for her community," UCN president Konrad Jonasson said Wednesday.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs released a statement of condolence Thursday.

"Kathleen Leary was a champion advocate for the right to education and turned her passions to actions to become very well known in the community for her work," Grand Chief Nepinak said in a statement.

"I have often spoken about the champions of education in our communities creating space and opportunity for our young people to succeed despite the differential treatment and resources we receive to build educational opportunity; Kathleen Leary was certainly someone we will remember as a pillar of strength in our community."

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