A Manitoba man woke up to a knife-wielding intruder in 2016. After lethally puncturing the heart of the home-invader with his own knife, the man has been found guilty for stepping over the boundaries of reasonable self-defence.
In an early September morning of 2016, Dakota Pratt woke up to a stabbing feeling in his head at his home on the Birdtail Sioux First Nation. When he noticed an intruder gripping a knife in his bedroom, Pratt chased the man into his home’s hallway.
The two men struggled throughout the house onto the residence’s deck. At this point, Pratt had gotten a hold of the attacker’s weapon.
Pratt proceeded to stab the man 13 times, eventually killing him with a stab to the heart. The dead man was later identified as another Birdtail Sioux First Nation resident, Vincent Bunn.
“[Pratt] was justified in taking defensive action, but the jury has concluded that his taking the knife of Mr. Bunn and stabbing him multiple times went beyond what was necessary for self-defence,” Justice Robert Cummings said in his decision.
At his trial’s finish, Pratt was sentenced to five years in prison.
According to CBC, during the trial, it was revealed that Pratt and Bunn were hardly unfamiliar with one another. They had “bad feelings” towards one another, and a jealous animosity existed between the two, asserted the Crown.
Adding to the case against Pratt, was his initial refusal to admit the involvement of a knife during his struggle with Bunn.
Bunn is remembered by his family as a funny and happy man. In a CBC interview with Bunn’s sisters they recalled his “outgoing,” “happy,” “good” nature.
“He could always bring a smile to your face. Here in court, they just showed his bad side, of the choices he made, [his] mistakes. But through all of that he was a really good guy,” said one of Bunn’s sibling’s after the trial had finished.
Pratt, for his part, has experienced a variety of traumatic experience, including physical and sexual abuse. He has also had issues with addiction. Pratt’s conviction is his second following one prior after an arrest for assault.