Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Charges laid in murder of Winnipeg father

Dispute erupts at daughter's birthday party

WINNIPEG - Police have made an arrest in the death of a Winnipeg father of five assaulted early Saturday morning during his daughter’s 18th birthday party.
Friends confirmed the victim is Garth Lorne Isfeld, 44.
Darren James Hall, 23, of Winnipeg has been charged with manslaughter and has been detained in custody.
The incident occurred in the 200 block of Stuart Avenue in North Kildonan at a barbecue to celebrate the birthday of Stephanie Krasnesky, who turns 18 today.
One of Isfeld’s friends was accompanied by another man, who was unknown to most of the dozen or so people at the party, said Elia Bevacqua, Isfeld’s brother’s common-law wife. The festivities took a turn for the worse just after midnight, she said. "No one knew who this guy was," she said.
"He started being abusive to Garth’s daughter and (he) came outside to protect his daughter."
The man eventually struck Isfeld with a beer bottle, Bevacqua said. "He went right down," she said. "There was blood everywhere."
Later Saturday, his daughter, Stephanie was curled up in a chair and sobbing. "I just seen him on the ground and he was rolling his eyes back in," she cried.
"There was so much blood everywhere. I just grabbed a pillow and put it around his head."

Isfeld was taken to hospital and initially, the injuries did not look severe, police Const. Blair Good said.

While in hospital, Isfeld’s condition worsened. He died several hours later.

Five people who were in the home at the time of the fight were questioned by police, Good said. Investigators are awaiting autopsy reports to determine the official cause of death.

"The homicide unit is investigating it to determine if it’s a homicide," Good said. "They’re not ready to say it’s a homicide."

Isfeld’s death prompted an immediate outpouring of grief online, as friends and relatives mourned a man known for his generous nature and sense of humour. He had two sons and three daughters, and an online profile indicates he was a graduate of Grant Park High School.

"He’s a happy guy who just made everyone laugh," said one of Isfeld’s longtime friends, who wanted to remain anonymous. The friend said Isfeld was living in the small single-storey white home on Stuart Avenue.

Neighbours say it’s a quiet area where violence is rare, and the yellow police tape surrounding the property shocked many residents.

"It’s North Kildonan, not the North End," said Amanda Martin, noting most people who live in the neighbourhood are seniors or young families. "Nothing like this has ever happened here."

Bruce Williams, a longtime Stuart Avenue resident who lives next door to the home, said it’s a rental property that has seen multiple families move in and out over the last two years.

He said his new neighbours just moved in, and he saw them carrying groceries and furniture to the home all day Friday.
Williams looked out his window after 10 p.m. and saw people barbecuing. He said he never heard any fighting, and was stunned to see several police cars steps away from his front yard.

"It’s surprising," he said, standing in his driveway. "You don’t see things like this. You see them on TV. I thought, ‘Gee whiz, now what’s going on?’ "

A 23-year-old man has been arrested after a father of five was fatally injured during a birthday party for his teen daughter.
Darren James Hall of Winnipeg is charged with manslaughter and remains in custody.
The incident happened early Saturday at the Stuart Avenue home of the victim, 44-year-old Garth Lorne Isfeld. The death is Winnipeg’s second homicide of the year.
Isfeld's family told media Saturday that he was hit over the head with a beer bottle during a party at his North Kildonan house to celebrate the 18th birthday of Stephanie Krasnesky, one of his daughters.
The culprit was a party-crasher who refused to leave, the victim's family said, adding the violence occurred as Isfeld was trying to protect another daughter from the man.
Isfeld was transported to hospital with what appeared to be minor upper body injuries but he later developed blood clots and died, his family told media.
On Saturday afternoon, police said investigators were still trying to determine whether the death was in fact a homicide.

Victim's family questions why paramedics parked down the street"
Garth Isfeld died after allegedly being hit on the head with a beer bottle during a North Kildonan house party on Saturday.
Family members are now questioning why paramedics parked down the street when they arrived forcing Isfeld to walk to the ambulance.
"They shouldn't have made him walk anywhere. If it was a head injury they should have been right there, not dragging him," said Isfeld's girlfriend Candy Krasnesky.
Police say the original 911 call came in as a shooting. If emergency crews face the threat of a firearm the ambulance may stage until police say it's safe.
Family members say Isfeld was throwing a birthday party for his 18-year old daughter when an uninvited guest showed up. Isfeld asked the man to leave and was allegedly hit over the head with a beer bottle.
"I just seen him on the ground and he was rolling his eyes back in" said his daughter Stephanie Krasnesky
"There was so much blood everywhere. I just grabbed a pillow and put it around his head."
Neighbours say the party got rowdy several hours in and people could be heard screaming telling a man to leave.
Police were called to the home in the 200 block of Stuart Avenue around 12:30 a.m. after reports of the attack.
The victim was rushed to hospital where family members say his condition worsened because of blood clots. The 44-year old man was pronounced dead in hospital.
Police have charged 23-year old Darren James Hall with manslaughter in connection with the death.

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