Teen pleads guilty to 'sucker punch' killing

The Law Courts in Winnipeg. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

The Law Courts in Winnipeg. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

Dean Pritchard, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:45 PM ET

WINNIPEG ─ A Winnipeg teen has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after admitting to a single "sucker punch" that killed another teen at a high school football party.

Christian O'Neail, 18, died Aug. 31, 2013, after he was assaulted leaving a party.

The 18-year-old will return to court in November following the completion of a pre-sentence report. The Crown and defence have not agreed on a sentence, court was told.

Court heard the then 17-year-old was attending an initiation party at the home. O'Neail, who attended rival school Kildonan East Collegiate, and a few friends also attended the party.

Witnesses reported hearing the 17-year-old say "'he was going to knock out some randoms,' which may or may not have been in reference to O'Neail and his friends," Crown attorney Dan Angus said.

O'Neail and his friends were exiting the front yard when he kicked over a planter, attracting the attention of the party host, Angus said. O'Neail and the man talked for a time and were preparing to shake hands when the accused walked through the crowd and punched O'Neail once in the jaw, knocking him to the ground.

O'Neail was knocked unconscious and suffered a massive brain injury. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced brain dead.

The accused was initially cheered by other party-goers, "unaware of the seriousness of the condition of the victim," Angus said.

Witnesses told police O'Neail "never saw the punch coming."


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