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Man jailed for stabbing house guest
Accused became enraged when couple wouldn't leave home

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, May 18, 2013

A man convicted of knifing a house guest after he told the victim and his girlfriend that he would stab them if they didn't leave the premises, was sentenced to 19 months in jail Thursday in territorial court.

The incident occurred Jan. 21 when Jesley Derrick Nitsiza returned to where he was staying after an evening of drinking and found a couple in the trailer.

The homeowners had given the pair permission to be in the residence before going out. But Nitsiza, 31, decided he didn't want them around.

He told the couple, whom he had met before, that he would stab them if they didn't leave.

The woman was going for the phone in the kitchen when Nitsiza grabbed her by the arm and pushed her to the ground. He then ripped the phone dock from the wall.

Afterwards, the boyfriend attempted to defend the woman and subsequently began fighting with Nitsiza. The situation escalated when the assailant grabbed hold of a butcher knife and stabbed the man in the lower left portion of his back.

The couple ran next door to call the police.

RCMP arrived on scene and directed the accused to come out of the residence. Forty-five minutes later Nitsiza left the home and was arrested.

Meanwhile, the victim had been taken to the hospital where medical staff treated him for a three-centimetre long laceration. He was discharged on Jan. 24.

A few months later Nitsiza plead guilty to charges of aggravated assault and assault.

Crown prosecutor Kindra Lakusta argued that the accused should get two years less a day for the crimes followed by a lengthy probation. It's an aggravating circumstance, she said, that Nitsiza has a previous conviction for assault and a further three convictions for uttering threats. She also noted that the attack on the woman was completely unprovoked while during the fight with the stabbing victim Nitsiza took the incident to a new level by introducing a knife.

Defence lawyer Niko Homberg requested a lesser sentence. According to Homberg, Nitsiza had a job prior to this incident and holds a Grade 12 education. Further Nitsiza recognizes that he has a drinking problem and has endeavoured to work on it, Homberg said, adding that during his time in custody he has attended 11 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The lawyer read a letter to the court written by the assailant's grandmother, who raised him since he was a toddler. Her words painted a picture of a young man devoted to his family. Since his grandfather died Nitsiza has been supporting his grandmother by buying groceries and paying some of her bills.

She asked the judge to be lenient.

When the assailant was given a chance to speak he apologized for the incident.

"I'm ashamed of myself and my actions," he said.

Prior to the night of the stabbing, Nitsiza said he had been sober for six weeks as part of an effort to overcome his issues with alcohol.

Territorial court Judge Garth Malakoe took this into consideration when making his decision but noted that the act was somewhat planned given the assailant's initial threat.

He also looked at the man's criminal record and the support offered from his family, who were present in the courtroom.

He's lucky, Malakoe added, that the victim's wound wasn't fatal and the charges not more severe.

In the end, Malakoe sentence Nitsiza to 18 months for the aggravated assault charge and another month for the assault. Four months credit was given for time served.

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