October 17, 2012
Accused pleads guilty in murder-for-hire
By Dean Pritchard, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG -- As three of his co-accused await court appeals, Daniel Richard admitted responsibility in court Wednesday for his part in the murder-for-hire killing of Ivan Radocaj.
Richard, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, admitting he helped beat Radocaj to death at his Interlake area home on Sept. 14, 2007.
Last year a jury convicted Radocaj’s ex-wife Melody Sanford, 48, Donald Richard, 35, and Donald’s mother Rita Cushnie, 57, of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. All three are appealing their convictions.
A fourth co-accused, Christopher Houle, pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.
Jurors heard evidence Sanford commissioned Radocaj’s killing while Donald Richard, his cousin Daniel Richard and Houle carried it out.
Court heard testimony Sanford claimed Radocaj had sexually assaulted her adult daughter. Sanford’s daughter discredited the claim on the witness stand.
Daniel Richard will return to court for sentencing Nov. 19.