Seven year sentence for 2015 Christmas Day stabbing death in Red Deer

Heavily intoxicated the night he killed a Red Deer man, Chad Alexander Kulba was sentenced to seven years for manslaughter.

Court previously heard Kulba, 35, had an estimated blood alcohol level of about 0.15 — nearly double the legal driving limit of 0.08 — had taken crystal meth and was on two kinds of anxiety medication when he stabbed Thomas Patrick Braconnier, 46, to death.

Kulba pleaded guilty to manslaughter in September. He had been scheduled to stand trial for second-degree murder on Nov. 27.

Braconnier was found dead in the vestibule of a downtown apartment Christmas morning, 2015. According to an agreed statement of facts, Braconnier was stabbed about 30 times. An autopsy later determined Braconnier died of “multiple sharp force injuries.”

At 4 a.m., Braconnier left the Buffalo Hotel and went to Kulba’s nearby residence, near the intersection of 50th Street and 50th Avenue. Braconnier, who had a knife in his belt, went into Kulba’s room uninvited.

According to the agreed statement of facts, when Braconnier raised his arm, Kulba stabbed him saying, “what’s with the knife?”

Injured, Braconnier attempted to flea, but Kulba followed him down the stairs and wrestled with him before stabbing him repeatedly.

Kulba also stabbed Braconnier with a broken-off golf club, possibly after the victim had already died of his injuries.

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

When police found Braconnier’s body, Kulba was arrested and charged after struggling with police. On Jan. 6, 2016, he was charged with second-degree murder.

The call was the second time Kulba had called police that night. At about 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.

Given credit for 34-and-a-half months of pre-trial custody, Kulba has four years and one-and-a-half months left to serve.

In addition, Kulba was given lifetime prohibitions of both prohibited firearms and restricted weapons.

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