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Manslaughter plea in connection with summer 2017 killing downtown Chilliwack

Kirkland Russell admitted in BC Supreme Court to killing Douglas Presseau July 7, 2017
Kirk Joseph Russell and Victoria Sherri Purcell were charged with second-degree murder for the July 7, 2017 killing of Douglas Presseau downtown Chilliwack. Russell pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Oct. 4, 2018. (RCMP/Facebook)

The man charged with the second degree murder of Douglas Presseau downtown Chilliwack last summer pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in BC Supreme Court on Thursday.

Kirkland Joseph Russell was charged alongside Victoria Sherri Purcell in connection with the killing on July 7, 2017 that took place on or near Princess Avenue on a busy Friday night.

Presseau was stabbed multiple times in an altercation that involved numerous people and spilled from the street onto the sidewalk and up the driveway of a small apartment unit on Princess.

The full details of exactly what happened that night have not yet come out, and what has not yet been explained at all is how a second man, Steven Drage, was also killed that night.

No one has been arrested or charged in Drage’s death.

Russell, who has been in custody since July 22, 2017, was in the prisoner’s box on Oct. 4 wearing a white dress shirt with the collar up, black blazer and in leg shackles. He answered a series of questions posed by the judge about his guilty plea to manslaughter, including that he understood by pleading guilty he was admitting to the essential elements of the offence.

“That is correct,” Russell answered.

Purcell, who was also charged with second-degree murder, has been out on bail since October 2017. She was in court also on Oct. 4 but she did not plead guilty to manslaughter.

Both Russell and Purcell were put over to a court appearance again on Oct. 9. Asked if Purcell was going to plead to manslaughter or to some lesser offence, Crown counsel said only that they were in negotiations.

At this point it is unclear if a stay of proceedings will be granted to Purcell or if there might be a lesser charge she pleads guilty to. All that happened with Purcell’s case is that the judge agreed to lift a curfew as part of her bail conditions.

During a court appearance in November 2017, Crown suggested that more charges were to be considered against Russell, but what those charges might be was not disclosed. As of yet no further charges had been approved.

• READ MORE: Man accused in downtown Chilliwack murder facing more charges

• READ MORE: Chilliwack man charged with murder once labelled a high risk sex offender


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