Winnipeg man pleads not guilty to first-degree murder in death of three-year-old boy

Winnipeg –

Jurors heard an opening statement from prosecutors in the trial for a Winnipeg man charged in the death of a three-year-old boy.

Hunter Smith-Straight died after being stabbed multiple times in the early morning hours of October 30, 2019. The accused, Daniel Jensen, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and is presumed innocent.

Crown attorneys told the jury the case at its core is about domestic violence. They told jurors evidence and witness testimony will show Jensen deliberately killed Smith-Straight because he was mad at the boy’s mom.

The Crown told jurors there was a physical altercation at a bar between Jensen and Smith-Straight’s mom prior to the stabbing.

The trial is scheduled for 20 days.

Justice Herbert Rempel told court 14 jurors were selected to hear evidence to make sure there’s a complete jury due to the length of the case. One juror has been excused due to non-COVID health concerns resulting in a 13-member jury. Only 12 jurors will be allowed to deliberate to reach a verdict.

Jurors are masked and spaced out in the courtroom and crown and defence lawyers are separated by plexiglass barriers.  

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