An Edmonton man who started a fatal arson fire three years ago because he was angry at his former common-law wife has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Dakota Kashtin Cappo was initially charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fire, which killed a man he didn’t know.
A jury trial was set to begin Tuesday and last for three weeks. Before the trail began, Cappo met with his defence lawyer and agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
In an agreed statement of facts, Cappo admitted he was high on methamphetamine on the morning of Nov. 29, 2015, when he started the fire in the apartment complex where his former common-law wife lived with their two children.
The fire spread quickly throughout the building in the Queen Mary Park neighbourhood. Thirty-one people were evacuated.
During a door-to-door check, firefighters found Gregory Fenton unconscious inside Suite No. 303. He was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, where he suffered a cardiac arrest.
Fenton, 54, never regained consciousness and died on Dec. 4, 2015.
Crown prosecutor Terry Hoffman said the medical examiner’s office found Fenton suffered no “acute internal injuries.”
He said Fenton died from smoke inhalation.
Pattern of harassment
According to the agreed statement of facts, Cappo was involved in six-year relationship with a woman, and they had two children together.
The woman said she ended the relationship in 2013 and restricted access to the children because Cappo was abusing crystal methamphetamine.
Cappo moved to Saskatchewan, but returned to Edmonton in August 2015.
Soon after, he began to threaten the woman on Facebook. He threw rocks and a wrench through her apartment windows and the slashed the tires on her car.
The woman lodged three complaints with Edmonton police near the end of October. She was granted an emergency protection order on Oct. 31.
The harassment and threats continued throughout November.
On Nov. 27, at 2:52 a.m., Cappo made another post on his Facebook page. “I love the way fire burns,” he wrote. “And it takes everything away. Plus the smell of smoke remains (sic) me of how the job is done right.”
Cappo snuck into the 21-suite apartment building where his former common-law wife lived in the early hours of Nov. 29.
He used an accelerant to start a fire in the south stairwell.
Up to 50 firefighters and Edmonton police responded. The fire caused about $2.5 million in damage.
Cappo was arrested in September 2016 and charged with first-degree murder and arson.
He is expected back in court on Dec. 7 when a date for his sentencing hearing will be set.
Search your Cities weather below
The Weather Channel
The Weather Network
Most Recent Posts
[su_slider source=”category: 8863″ limit=”30″ link=”post” target=”blank” width=”700″ height=”340″]
Canadian News Headlines
[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada.xml” limit=”20″]
Edmonton News Headlines
[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-edmonton.xml” limit=”20″]
Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area. It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary, generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road). Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.
Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016, Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.
Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.