THUNDER BAY - A man charged in connection with a stabbing death outside SilverCity Thunder Bay in 2014 has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
In Thunder Bay Superior Court on Tuesday, Shane Patrick Ashpanaquestcum pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. He was first charged in October, 2014 with second degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Daniel Randall Levac of Sachigo Lake, a student at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School.
The incident took place on Oct. 3, 2014 outside the SilverCity Cinema after 9 p.m. According to an agreed statement of facts read in court by crown attorney Shari Frenette to Justice D.C. Shaw, surveillance footage showed Ashpanaquestcum and Levac acting aggressively towards one another on the steps outside the theatre.
The two were seen fighting and being pulled apart by other people in the area. At approximately 10:24 p.m., Levac was found on the ground after being stabbed.
Police and EMS were called, and Levac was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 11 p.m.
Ashpanaquestcum was found by police a short time later in the area of Southern Avenue and was arrested. The investigation turned up what appeared to be blood on his hand, on a sweatshirt he was seen wearing earlier in the evening that was found near the walking bridge at Southern Avenue, and on a knife found in his pants pocket.
A post mortem examination determined that Levac suffered a stab wound to the heart, causing him to bleed to death.
According to police, Levac and Ashpanaquestcum were not known to each other, and alcohol was a factor in the incident.
Family members of Levac were in the courtroom to hear Ashpanaquestcum’s plea, but left after becoming emotional during the reading of the statement of facts.
Ashpanaquestcum, originally from Summer Beaver First Nation, was granted bail in February, 2015.
A pre-sentencing report and a Gladue Report have been requested. and a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 9, 2018.