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Accused killer may be at victim's memorial

The funeral for Manitoba's final homicide victim of 2012 is expected to be attended by the accused killer, the Free Press has learned.

A 42-year-old southern Manitoba man will be laid to rest on Saturday, six days after he was stabbed to death inside his home. The victim's 14-year-old son has been charged with second-degree murder and is being held in custody at the provincial youth centre.

Plans are being made for one of the more unique bail conditions imposed by the courts: The youth would be allowed an escorted temporary leave from jail to witness his father's burial. He would be taken back into custody following the service and would remain behind bars indefinitely.

It's possible he could apply for a full bail release in the future.

A formal request for the emergency release will be made this afternoon. The Crown is consenting to the request, provided several conditions are met to ensure the safety of all who attend the funeral. Those include having sheriff's or correctional officers with the accused at all times. The family of the victim and accused have told lawyers they support the idea. Manitoba victims' services officials are also involved in the matter.

The accused made a brief court appearance on Thursday afternoon in which he fought back tears as lawyers spoke about the unique circumstances of his case, including the proposal to allow him to bid farewell to the father he is accused of killing.

"Are you all right? Do you know what's going on? Do you know where you are?" provincial court Judge Heather Pullan asked the teen.

"Yes," he replied softly, his head hung low as he sat in the prisoner's box.

The victim -- who can't be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act -- suffered multiple stab wounds during the Dec. 30 attack. RCMP were called to a home just after 8 p.m., where they discovered the deceased man and arrested his son.

Police have said little about the circumstances of the slaying. Justice sources told the Free Press the accused had no prior contact with the criminal justice system. RCMP are continuing to investigate.

The Free Press is not identifying the specific community where the homicide happened to avoid indirectly identifying the accused, who is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

www.mikeoncrime.com

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