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.

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