Warning: This story contains content that may offend some readers.
The mother of a Winnipeg child who was stabbed to death in her sleep nearly two years ago took a stand at her ex-boyfriend’s trial.
Daniel Jensen has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in November 2019 when three-year-old Hunter Smith-Straight died.
The jury heard the boy’s mother, Clarice Smith, worry about her safety after a fight she had with Jensen the day before Hunter was stabbed.
As the end of October 2019 approached Smith, 34, the jury told her she was planning to move out of a second-floor suite she shared on Pritchard Ave. to return to his home community Manigotagan to live with family.
Smith testified that she was moving in with Hunter and Jensen, whom she had dated for seven months. Jensen’s is now accused of stabbing and killing Hunter in his sleep in the early morning hours on October 30, 2019. It is the Crown’s position that Jensen did it because he got mad at Smith.
“He said, ‘I get your son taken from you,'” Smith testified. “I got mad and hit him three times.”
She told the jury the fight happened on Oct. 29, while the couple instead of moving spent the day drinking with a group of friends and Smith’s family at a casino and some Winnipeg bars.
Smith told jurors she left Hunter in the care of a niece who lived in the suite on the ground floor of the same home on Pritchard. But at one point in the night, Smith testified during a stop at home that she was considering running away with Hunter without Jensen because she felt unsafe.
“I do not know where we are going, but I have to take him somewhere,” Smith testified.
She told the jury she was convinced to continue partying and put Hunter back to bed. It was in the next bar that the group stopped at, where Smith witnessed Jensen becoming jealous of another man, and the couple continued to quarrel.
“I told him it was me and Hunter who had to move to my mother,” Smith told the jury. “He got angry. He bit me on the cheek.”
“He followed me into the laundry room and started hitting me and kicking me.”
Smith told jurors Jensen left the bar alone and that she left him with the other members of their group.
The Crown claims, after Jensen left the bar, he went to the home of Pritchard and stabbed Hunter.
Later that night, a call came in urging Smith to return home. When Smith got there, she told that the jury police were already on the scene and she was not allowed to enter. Smith was eventually rushed to the hospital to be with Hunter, who died three days later.
Earlier in the day, the jury heard from a Winnipeg Police Service’s Major Crimes Unit detective who testified that he questioned Smith’s nephew, Austin Bruyere, as a witness.
The jury heard that Bruyere had lived in the same home on Pritchard, where Hunter was found stabbed and had blood on his clothes. The Crown previously told the jury that they can expect to hear evidence that the blood did not come from Hunter.
“He came at me as sad,” It. Sgt. Ward Gordon told the jury about Bruyere, who he said cooperated with police. “Throughout most of the conversation, he had tears in his eyes.”
Gordon testified that police later found out that Bruyere, who originally gave officers another last name, was wanted on a warrant for non-compliance with court conditions on an unrelated issue.
Gordon testified that he told Bruyere that the police would process the verdict after taking his statement and that Bruyere should appear before a judge.
The jury heard that Hunter was found with a knife in his neck and a screwdriver near his feet. He was stabbed six times in the head and neck.
Jensen is presumed innocent. His trial continues Wednesday morning. It is scheduled to take place over 20 days.