Crown rejects manslaughter plea for axe-wielding Fort Resolution man

"His eyes were open, staring," says RCMP officer at the scene of the crime.

Yellowknife Courthouse (CKLB File photo).
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On Monday, court heard a Fort Resolution man admit to killing another man with an axe. 

However, Chad Beck did not agree with the second degree murder charge he is facing from the incident that occurred on July 1, 2018, where 27-year-old Cameron Sayine was killed. 

Beck appeared at NWT Supreme Court for trial before Justice Shannon Smallwood.

Beck’s defence lawyer, Peter Harte, said Beck is pleading guilty to manslaughter but not to second degree murder — the crown rejected the plea.

Crown prosecutor Jill Andrews laid out the agreed upon facts; including an order of events from Canada Day 2018. 

Earlier in the day, Sayine had assaulted Beck, leaving him with cuts and bruises on his face. Later in the day, Beck and Sayine were at the same address, a house just outside the town. At this address, Beck struck Sayine with an axe several times, in the neck, face, and torso, Andrews said.

Sayine died as a result of the injuries he sustained, Andrews said.

Andrews added the trial will look into the effect alcohol had on Beck as well as his defence of provocation.

The witnesses

Three witnesses appeared before the court on Monday.

Cpl. Sam Munden — who was a first responder at the incident — was the first to testify.  

Munden says when him and another officer — Cpl. Justin Helm, who also testified as a witness on Monday — arrived at the house, Beck was sitting on a swing chair outside.

As soon as the uniformed officers arrived, Beck lay down on the ground with his hands behind his back and surrendered himself to police, Munden said. 

“Normally people don’t surrender themselves to police like that,” Helm told the court.

Munden said he then began to investigate the premise and quickly discovered blood on the door of the house. He entered the premises and discovered blood smeared across the floor.

A trail of blood also led into a forested area outside the house — it was here that he discovered the deceased body of Sayine, Munden said.

“His eyes were open, staring,” Munden said while choking with emotion. 

The trial will continue for the rest of the week.

About the Author

Luke Carroll
Luke Carroll is a journalist originally from Brockville, Ont. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor in Ottawa, Halifax and New Brunswick. Luke is a graduate of Carleton University's bachelor of journalism program. If you have a story idea, feel free to send him an email at