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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Justice Delayed

9-3-2008 Canada:

Killers jailed 21 years after attack

Twenty-one years after Erwin Kakoschke was fatally beaten outside his North Kildonan home, two of his killers are finally behind bars.

Ernest Dennis Wolanicki, 46, and Edward Hugh Young, 43, pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter and were sentenced to eight years in prison.

A third man, Wolanicki's brother Orville Wolanicki, 41, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He will be sentenced later this fall and remains free on bail.

All three men were originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the reduced charges in a plea bargain with the Crown.

Kakoschke was beaten to death as he opened his garage door on Oct. 21, 1987. His daughter discovered his partially snow-covered body three days later.

Court heard the widower was targeted for a beating by his new girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. The man has since died and was never charged in connection with Kakoschke's death.

Ernest Wolanicki and Young told police it was another man who hired them to beat Kakoschke. They claimed the man lied to them, telling them Kakoschke was a pedophile.

Wolanicki and Young beat Kakoschke with a baseball bat and tire iron, smashing his skull and breaking his legs.

Police had no evidence linking the men to the crime and the investigation remained stalled for nearly 12 years when, in September 1999, patrol officers responded to a domestic disturbance between Ernest Wolanicki and his then-girlfriend.

The woman told police: "Why don't you ask him about the murder he did?"

In July 2001, Orville Wolanicki's ex-girlfriend came forward and told police Orville had confessed to his involvement in the killing, claiming they were paid several hundred dollars to beat up Kakoschke "and he ended up dying."

Orville Wolanicki is accused of driving the other two men to Kakoschke's home and did not participate in the beating.

The men weren't arrested until late 2001, shortly after the appearance of a story in the Winnipeg Sun.

Young was "haunted" by Kakoschke's killing and in 2006 tried to slit his throat in a failed suicide bid, said defence lawyer Martin Glazer.

"I do regret it, every day of my life," Young told members of Kakoschke's family yesterday. "I'm sorry, I truly am sorry."

Ernest Wolanicki said he has never stopped thinking about Kakoschke's death.

"I'm ashamed that I have to appear before you today," Wolanicki told Justice Murray Sinclair. "My sentence for this basically started the day this happened."

Sinclair rejected an attempt by the defence to paint Wolanicki and Young as victims.

Kakoschke "did nothing wrong but try to live his life," Sinclair said.

"I do not see the accused as victims. They are the ones who willingly participated in beating the victim." ..News Source.. by DEAN PRITCHARD, SUN MEDIA

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