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Testimony ends at manslaughter retrial of Michael Robertson for Rocky Genereaux death

Rocky Genereaux’s family brought a button bearing his picture to Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench. Ryan Kessler / Global News

Michael Robertson’s defence lawyer closed his case Tuesday following testimony from the man accused of manslaughter in the stabbing death of Rocky Genereaux.

Robertson testified that he confronted the 42-year-old over a missing chip for his BlackBerry phone in March 2015. While standing roughly five feet apart inside a house, Robertson said Genereaux became agitated, claimed to have HIV and lunged at him with an uncovered needle.

Read more: New manslaughter trial ordered in Saskatoon stabbing death of Rocky Genereaux

“His whole body’s coming at me, needle in hand,” Robertson told the court. “It was all very quick.”

Robertson said he drew a roughly 50-centimetre knife from the lining of the jacket he was wearing. The accused said he never swung the knife, but Genereaux ended up stabbed.

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He maintains he acted in self-defence.

During Tuesday’s cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Jennifer Claxton-Viczko asked Robertson why he stood his ground in the face of a supposedly infected needle. Robertson answered, “it happened within a fraction of a second. I had no chance to get away or anything.”

Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal determined the judge made errors when instructing jurors during Michael Robertson’s 2015 trial in Saskatoon. Saskatoon Police Service / Supplied

Closing arguments at the retrial are scheduled for Nov. 10.

The case is before Justice Grant Currie after the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ordered a new trial. A jury found Robertson not guilty of second-degree murder, but guilty of manslaughter in June 2016.

The original trial judge “repeatedly provided inconsistent and confusing instructions about the verdict that must flow from a finding that self-defence had not been disproved,” according to the higher court’s decision.

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Read more: Michael Robertson guilty of manslaughter in stabbing death of Rocky Genereaux

Having to sit through the trial’s details is even more difficult than the first time, according to Prudence Genereaux, Rocky’s sister.

“It brought back a lot of anger and hate that I’ve been trying to let go of,” she said.

Prudence Genereaux read from a note her brother had written while he was trying to quit using drugs.

“So all you kids or adults out there thinking about doing drugs to cover up some pain, remember it will only get worse with drugs,” she read.

“So just face your pain head-on and don’t run like I am. It’s not worth it.”

The victim’s sister said just because he was addicted to drugs, it didn’t change who Rocky was inside. She said he was still an amazing brother who gave charley horses and made his nine siblings laugh. He also had four children of his own.

“He’ll never be forgotten. His memory is always with us.”

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