Manslaughter sentencing delayed as accused seeks cultural assessment

A man who admitted to killing another man in a confrontation in Halifax's downtown bar district more than four years ago has asked to delay his sentencing so a cultural assessment can be prepared.

Devon Marteeko Downey, 24, pleaded guilty last month to a charge of manslaughter in the death of Kaylin Diggs.

Diggs was assaulted near the corner of Argyle and Sackville streets early on the morning of Aug. 11, 2012. When police found the 26-year-old man lying on a sidewalk, he was unresponsive. He later died in hospital.

Downey was in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax Thursday morning to set dates for his sentencing. But legal aid lawyer Brad Sarson asked the court for more time. Sarson said Nova Scotia Legal Aid is trying to arrange funding to prepare a cultural assessment for Downey before he is sentenced.

The accused is African-Nova Scotian and the assessment will examine whether anything in his cultural background should mitigate the sentence he will receive.

The case will return to court next week to see if the money is approved and if dates for a two-day sentencing hearing can be set.

Downey has been free on conditions since he turned himself in to police in February 2016.