Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut August 23, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Kugaaruk man guilty of murdering common-law spouse: Nunavut judge

Bruce Kayaitok found guilty of the second-degree murder in 2008 death of Belinda Tootiak

DAVID MURPHY
At the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit on Aug. 23,  Earl Johnson found Bruce Kayaitok, 36,  guilty of second-degree murder for the killing of his 2008 common-law spouse, Belinda Tootiak. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)
At the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit on Aug. 23, Earl Johnson found Bruce Kayaitok, 36, guilty of second-degree murder for the killing of his 2008 common-law spouse, Belinda Tootiak. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)

Nunavut Justice Earl Johnson found a Kugaaruk man guilty of second-degree murder for the killing of his 2008 common-law spouse, Belinda Tootiak in a judgment handed down Aug. 23 at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

Bruce Kayaitok, 36, pleaded guilty to manslaughter April 29, but Crown prosecutor Paul Bychok sought a conviction of second-degree murder.

In court, Johnson deposited an “extensive” report on why he felt Kayaitok was guilty. That report, which Johnson did not read, will be available to the public later.

Kayaitok stabbed Tootiak, 30, with the top of the broken mop handle in their shared home in Kugaaruk during the early morning hours of June 13, 2008.

As a result of her injuries, Tootiak died of blood loss.

Their two sons, five and three, were in the home at the time of the incident, which took place after the couple had spent 14 years in an on-again, off-again relationship.

Kayaitok appeared in court wearing a standard prison-issued blue sweat pants and a blue sweatshirt.

When Johnson said he found Kayaitok guilty of second-degree murder, Kayaitok looked down at the defence table and never looked back up.

The sentencing date will be set Aug. 26.

Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with a period of parole ineligibility starting at a minimum of 10 years.

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