Dartmouth man sentenced to 7 years for manslaughter

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A 72-year-old Dartmouth, N.S., man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing his friend to death in an argument three years ago. (Anjuli Patil/CBC - image credit)
A 72-year-old Dartmouth, N.S., man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing his friend to death in an argument three years ago. (Anjuli Patil/CBC - image credit)

A 72-year-old Dartmouth, N.S., man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing his friend to death in an argument three years ago.

Joseph Noel Landry was sentenced Friday morning in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. He had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter, thereby heading off a jury trial on a charge of second-degree murder.

Darren Clyde Reid, 52, was killed in his Dartmouth apartment on April 16, 2018. Landry was arrested the next day.

In an agreed statement of facts read into the record prior to sentencing, court was told that Landry was at Reid's apartment on that night and the two men got into an argument.

Victim dead before paramedics arrived

Reid advanced on the older man, who was hobbled by a broken ankle. According to the statement, Reid started hitting Landry, who responded by pulling out a pocket knife and stabbing his friend in the throat.

Landry started performing CPR on Reid and shouting for help. But by the time paramedics arrived, Reid was already dead.

Landry was quoted in the statement as saying, "I hurt him, I hurt him bad."

He also told police he was trying to defend himself.

He would later make incriminating statements to undercover police officers who were placed in adjoining cells while he was in custody.

Landry apologizes to Reid's family

Reid's relatives gave victim impact statements to the court. They talked of never-ending pain and being robbed of their happiness because of his death.

"I can't help but be terrified for anyone who comes in contact with him [Landry]," said Tracy Reid, Reid's sister.

When he was given a chance to speak, Landry apologized to Reid's family and apologized again that pandemic restrictions prevented him from being in the courtroom to address them in person. Instead he appeared by video link from jail and family members listened to the proceedings by telephone.

'Out of character,' says judge

Because he's been in custody since shortly after the stabbing, Landry has been given credit of nearly 4½ years for time served, meaning he faces about 2½ more years in prison. The seven-year sentence was a joint recommendation by Crown and defence.

In addition to the prison term, Landry's DNA goes into a national data bank and he faces a 10-year weapons ban.

"The entire episode was out of character for you," Justice James Chipman said in passing sentence.

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