Alberta briefs – June 9

A decision in the second-degree murder trial of a Red Deer victim is expected in early July in Edmonton.

Ruling expected

A decision in the second-degree murder trial of a Red Deer victim is expected in early July in Edmonton.

Michael Berube, 25, who grew up and lived in Red Deer for several years before moving to High Level, was found strangled to death on Jan. 16, 2008, in High Level.

Richard Allen Pfaff, 24, was charged with second-degree murder in the death.

A trial was held this spring in Peace River, after which Justice Adele Kent adjourned the matter for decision until July 3.

During testimony, Pfaff admitted he fought with Berube before an alleged blackout where he “came to” with his hands clutching Berube’s throat.

Pfaff said Berube had grown loud while the two were outside an apartment for a cigarette following some time drinking.

Pfaff said when he told Berube to leave, the victim instead returned to the residence.

One man grabbed the other, which led to them falling down to a flight of stairs.

Bear attack injures one

A bear attack in northern Alberta that left one man in hospital could have been deadly if it weren’t for a brave 78-year-old and his walking stick, a friend said.

Tom Wanyandie and his son James, who is in his 30s, were moose hunting last Friday night near an oil and gas service road when they came up over a ridge and face to face with what they believe was a grizzly bear.

The aggressive sow began attacking James, then turned its attention to Tom.

“Tom had a walking stick and he jammed it down the bear’s throat,” said Bazil Leonard, who has known the family for over 30 years.

“When he did that, (the bear) left him and went after James. He took the walking stick and beat (the bear) on the nose and head until it left.”

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