Man sentenced to five years in connection to death of friend

A man charged with manslaughter in the death of his life-long friend has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Martin Munro, 37, of Miramichi, New Brunswick, was originally charged with second-degree murder of George William McDonald, 40, earlier this year. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter last week in court.

Jolyn Ten Hove, 37 is also charged with second-degree murder in McDonald’s death. A preliminary hearing is set for her beginning Dec. 12 in Red Deer Provincial Court.

On Jan. 20, at about 2:49 a.m. Red Deer City RCMP and Red Deer Emergency Services were dispatched to Forest Cl. following a 911 call.

McDonald, 40, originally from Miramichi, New Brunswick, was found dead upon police arrival. An autopsy concluded he died after being strangled.

Munro has been in custody since his arrest on Jan. 20 and was granted time served by Judge Gordon Deck in last week’s ruling. Munro will spend another four years and seven weeks in prison.

In an Agreed Statement of Facts, which was read in court on Nov. 21, Chief Crown Prosecutor Anders Quist said Munro and McDonald had known each other since Munro was 12-years-old.

In December 2010, Munro and Ten Hove, who were common-law spouses and living together in Red Deer at Ten Hove’s home, went to New Brunswick to spend Christmas with Munro’s family.

There, they spent time with McDonald. McDonald told the couple that he wanted to come to Alberta and spend time with friends in Sylvan Lake. On Jan. 12, after his accommodation arrangements fell through in Sylvan Lake, Munro invited him to stay at the home he shared with Ten Hove.

Over the course of his stay, McDonald and Ten Hove drank together.

On the evening of Jan. 19, Munro, Ten Hove and McDonald consumed alcohol. At around 1 a.m. on Jan. 20, McDonald walked over to Ten Hove and grabbed her inappropriately in front of Munro. A fight then broke out between the two men and Munro punched McDonald in the face. Ten Hove was told to go and stay in the bathroom, the Agreed Statement of Facts said.

McDonald was about to leave the residence when he lunged at Munro and they fell to the floor. Munro wrapped his arm around McDonald’s head and held on until McDonald went limp.

Ten Hove came out of the bathroom and the couple wrapped a scarf around McDonald’s neck. They also attempted to revive him. Ten Hove put a knife in McDonald’s left hand to make it look like he tried to attack Munro.

Munro called his mother in New Brunswick after the incident and she told him to call the RCMP. He did and when the RCMP arrived, Munro was arrested.

During questioning with the RCMP, Munro lied about McDonald trying to attack him with a knife, something he did to protect Ten Hove, court heard. When Munro learned that Ten Hove told the truth to the RCMP about the knife, he admitted he was lying.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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