Red Deer man behind brutal Christmas Day 2015 stabbing declared a dangerous offender

Chad Alexander Kulba also bit ear of fellow inmate in brawl

A Red Deer man who repeatedly stabbed another person to death, and bit a chunk out of a fellow inmate’s ear while behind bars, was declared a dangerous offender Tuesday.

Red Deer provincial court Judge Bruce Fraser agreed with Crown prosecutors that Chad Alexander Kulba should be deemed a dangerous offender for his lengthy list of crimes.

Kulba was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday for aggravated assault for biting his fellow remand centre inmate during a brawl over a pillow in August 2017.

Since he is a dangerous offender, the judge also imposed a 10-year long-term supervision order.

Both are consecutive to the seven-year manslaughter sentence Kulba has been serving since he was convicted in November 2017 of the brutal stabbing death of a Red Deer man on Christmas Day 2015.

The then-33-year-old Kulba fatally stabbed Thomas Braconnier, 46, more than 30 times in a downtown Red Deer apartment building.

Braconnier was trying to flee when Kulba, who was heavily intoxicated on a mix of alcohol, crystal meth and prescription drugs, savagely attacked his victim, at one point, wielding the broken shaft of a golf club.

Kulba pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

When that stabbing took place, Kulba told the court he was “catatonic” from drugs and feared that Braconnier, with whom he had an earlier confrontation, or someone else, would come to harm him.

He admitted he had struggled for a long time with alcohol and drugs, which fuelled his crimes. But he found religion in Drumheller Institution, he said, adding he is getting medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, has sworn off drinking and drugs, and is determined to turn his life around.

“I’m doing the full seven years, basically. I’m not arguing with that either.”

Before the additional three years were added, Kulba was due to be released in about two years.

Kulba said the incident in the remand centre was started by another inmate who attacked him first.

Crown prosecutor Ed Ring said previously, Kulba should be declared a dangerous offender because of his lengthy criminal record that includes convictions in 2011 for forcible confinement and aggravated assault, a charge of assaulting a peace officer in 2009, as well as other assaults in 2006 and 2003.

He was also convicted of numerous other property and breach of court order offences.

Ring pointed out that a psychological evaluation of Kulba showed he suffered from a social behaviour disorder and was at a high risk of re-offending if he again fell under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Another psychological assessment pointed out that not all Kulba’s assaults happened when he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When threatened or cornered, he could resort to violence, the psychologist wrote.

“This should not be seen as a borderline case,” Ring told the judge.

Defence lawyer George Lebessis acknowledged Kulba’s lengthy criminal record, but said there was no pattern of violent and uncontrollable behaviour.

Kulba was raised in a troubled foster home that led to his alcohol abuse. Given support and treatment following his release, Kulba’s risk to society is manageable, he argued.

“He’s not a psychopath, that’s clear,” Lebessis said.

The defence had filed an application to have the aggravated assault charge dropped, because it had taken an unreasonable amount of time to get to trial. That application was dropped on Tuesday.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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