April 7, 2017 8:22 am
Updated: April 7, 2017 8:25 am

Saskatoon man found guilty in 2015 Northwoods Inn stabbing

Saskatoon police attend to the area where William Johnston was stabbed to death on April 18, 2015.

Neil Fisher / Global News

A Saskatoon jury found Alvin Naistus, 26, guilty of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 44-year-old William Johnston after deliberating for roughly eight hours on Thursday.

Naistus stabbed Jonhnston to death during the early morning hours of April 18, 2015, in the parking lot of the Northwoods Inn and Suites. Defence lawyer Patrick McDougall had argued that Naistus was acting in self-defence, since Johnston was the initial aggressor in the altercation.

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However, Crown prosecutor Jennifer Claxton-Viczko countered that video evidence of the stabbing showed Johnston eventually backing away from the altercation, with Naistus in pursuit.

“Initially the victim was the aggressor. There was an argument, they both had bladed weapons,” Claxton-Viczko said outside of court after the verdict was read.

“The tables turned and the accused became the aggressor, he advanced on the deceased and he continued to advance on the deceased and that’s not self-defence.”

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Claxton-Viczko described the case as “compelling” and said she had expected the jury to come back with a guilty verdict, despite the counter argument that Naistus was acting in self-defence.

“Just because somebody starts a fight, doesn’t mean you get to finish it by plunging a knife through the victim’s heart,” she said.

A conviction of second-degree murder carries with it a life in prison sentence, with no possibility of parole for at least 10 years. Naistus will be back in court on Monday to begin the sentencing process.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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