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‘He was the sweetest guy’: Sister of stabbing victim angry over sentence killer may receive

Click to play video: '‘He was the sweetest guy’: Sister of Calgary stabbing victim angry over sentence killer may receive' ‘He was the sweetest guy’: Sister of Calgary stabbing victim angry over sentence killer may receive
The sister of a Calgary man who was stabbed to death on Memorial Drive is angry with what she calls the “weak sentence” the killer is facing. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, the victim was a homeless man who came from a prominent Calgary family. – Jan 22, 2022

The sister of a Calgary man who was stabbed to death in 2020 is angry with what she calls the “weak sentence” her brother’s killer is facing.

Jennifer Bawden describes her brother Dave as a gentle soul who adored her son.

“He was a super kind, huge-hearted guy that would help anybody when they needed help,” said Bawden, who is an author, speaker and fashion designer now living in New York City.

“He was the sweetest guy. He would never hurt a fly. He helped all strangers if they needed help. He was just such a special boy, but there’s nothing I could’ve done to fix his problems,” Bawden said.

Read more: Woman charged in death of man found on Memorial Drive in Calgary

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The siblings were raised in a prominent Calgary family. Their father was businessman and Calgary MP Peter Bawden, who passed away in 1991.

Jennifer said Dave was abused as a child and suffered from mental health issues. He spent the last years of his life homeless.

“I always wanted to help Dave. I helped him in every way I could, but he had issues. He loved being free. I found him so many places to stay and he left them for one reason or another. He just wanted to be free,” Bawden said.

On October 6, 2020 Dave was hitchhiking on Memorial Drive. A Calgary man pulled over and picked him up.

Ronita Wildman was a passenger in the car.

A short time after, when the car was stopped at a red light, Wildman stabbed Dave in the heart.

He stumbled out of the car and his body was found by the side of road.

Wildman admitted fatally stabbing Dave and is charged with manslaughter.

Read more: Calgary police investigate body found on Memorial Drive 

“We were devastated. I spent two months crying every day,” recalled Bawden.

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In court this past week, Crown prosecutor Tom Buglas and defence counsel Jim Lutz submitted a joint submission for a three-year sentence, which combined with credit for time already served, would see Wildman serve less than another 18 months.

“I was shaking my head in disbelief. Who is there to fight for my brother who is now dead?” said Bawden, who watched the proceedings via video link.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Wildman has a history of suffering from mental health, addiction and homelessness issues.

The judge hearing the case is expected to make a decision on sentencing next month.

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