Guilty plea in 2015 knifing death

Chad Alexander Kulba pleads guilty to manslaughter for knifing man on Christmas Day

A Red Deer man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for stabbing a man 30 times on Christmas Day 2015.

Chad Alexander Kulba, 35, entered the guilty plea in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday morning. He had been scheduled to stand trial for second-degree murder on Nov. 27 for the death of Thomas Patrick Braconnier, 46.

Crown prosecutor Bruce Ritter said Braconnier was stabbed about 30 times in an altercation that began in Kulba’s residence and continued down the stairs of the building.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Ritter said Braconnier left the Buffalo Hotel and went to Kulba’s nearby residence at 50th Street and 50th Avenue shortly after 4 a.m. on the day he was killed.

Braconnier, who had a knife in his belt, went into Kulba’s room uninvited. When Braconnier raised his arm, Kulba stabbed him saying, “What’s with the knife?”

The injured man fled and Kulba followed hin down the stairs, wrestling with him before stabbing him repeatedly. He also stabbed Braconnier with a broken-off golf club, possibly after the victim had already died of his injuries.

About 5 a.m., Kulba called police to report an unresponsive man sleeping in a hallway. He said the man did not appear injured.

Braconnier’s body was found. Kulba was arrested and charged after struggling with police. On Jan. 6, RCMP announced the murder charge.

It was estimated that Kulba’s blood alcohol level was around 0.150 — nearly double the legal driving limit of 0.08 — around the time of the knifing. The night before he had taken crystal meth and was on two different kinds of anxiety medication.

An autopsy would later determine Braconnier died of “multiple sharp force injuries.”

The call about Braconnier was the second time Kulba had called police that night. Around 3 a.m. he phoned to report people running around on the roof of his building.

Police checked it out but did not spot anyone.

Kulba returns to court on Nov. 27 for sentencing.

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