Guilty plea entered in man’s death
North Sydney man to be sentenced on manslaughter
A 22-year-old North Sydney man will be sentenced in January after pleading guilty Monday to a charge of manslaughter in connection with the stabbing death of another man in 2015.
Cody Alexander Russell was initially charged with seconddegree murder in relation to the death of 26-year-old Stephen Tyler Chisholm but pleaded guilty to the included offence of manslaughter.
Russell, who continues to be on remand, will now be sentenced Jan. 11.
In reading an agreed statement of facts Monday, Crown prosecutor Shane Russell, no relation to the accused, said a woman was at the centre of a conflict between Chisholm and Russell.
At the time of the offence, Shane Russell said Chisholm had been in a relationship with Kelsey Laffin and that they were parents to two children.
“There was evidence that Mr. Russell had an interest in starting a relationship with Ms. Laffin and this was the source of the conflict between him and Mr. Chisholm,” said Shane Russell, in reading from the statement.
Shortly after midnight on Sept. 30, 2015, Cape Breton Regional Police were called to Clifford Street in North Sydney where they found Chisholm on the ground and not breathing. He was bleeding heavily from the chest area and transported to hospital where he was pronounced death at 12:55 a.m.
An autopsy concluded Chisholm died as a result of a stab wound to his chest that cut into the right side of his heart. He also had stab wounds to his back, left side of his face and the right side of his head.
“He got me good, call an ambulance” is what one witness to the altercation recalled Chisholm saying.
Shane Russell said the two men were involved in a consensual fight the previous night.
While there were conflicting versions from witnesses as to exactly what happened, most agreed Chisholm had gotten the better of Russell.
The following day, there was a flurry of Facebook messages between Laffin, Chisholm and Russell with some of those messages including apologizes.
However, the two men agreed to fight again and further agreed no weapons would be involved.
Laffin gave three statements to police and during her third statement, admitted the previous two were untrue.
She said prior to Chisholm leaving the residence to fight Russell for a second time, she gave him a pocketknife.
Witnesses described the two men engaging in a fistfight but yet no one appeared to see who produced a knife.
Prior to the arrival of police, Russell fled the scene and showed up at a nearby apartment bleeding and having difficulty retaining consciousness.
He was later treated and medical reports indicated he suffered a broken nose and multiple non-lethal stab wounds to his ear, check, abdomen and shoulder.
Russell admitted to police that he was involved in a fight with Chisholm but that he did not bring a weapon nor did he know where the knife used in the attack originated.