A man found guilty of manslaughter was commended by a Vancouver judge as he learned he’d be serving more than a year in jail.
In a sentencing hearing earlier this month, Luis Alberto Maulen was sentenced to 20 months plus six days imprisonment for a fatal stabbing that occurred on Canada Day 2020.
Daniel Haydon, 49, died in hospital after being attacked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in what was the city’s fifth homicide of the year. Maulen was charged days later with second-degree murder, and ultimately convicted of the lesser charge.
Maulen learned of the sentence, which amounts to 18 months with credit for time served in pre-trial custody, in a Vancouver courtroom on March 11.
During the hearing, Justice E. David Crossin told the court that he’d accounted for Maulen’s actions since the attack when determining how long the man would spend behind bars.
“Mr. Maulen must be commended for his recent efforts in attempting to find a different road in his life,” the judge said in his decision, which was recently posted online.
“He has become, as a result of court-imposed boundaries since his judicial interim release, a man that has made great strides in his search for redemption and rehabilitation. There ought to be a good deal of optimism that he will continue with his new found sobriety and commitment going forward in his life… He has demonstrated a certain strength of character that supports this optimism.”
Still, Maulen was convicted of an offense described by Crossin as “serious.”
During sentencing, the court heard an overview of what is believed to have happened on July 1, 2020, and a variety of factors that may have led up to the stabbing.
Now-53-year-old Maulen has had substance use issues since he was a teenager, according to Crossin’s decision.
“His childhood was marked by difficulties at home and bullying at school,” the court heard.
Maulen got married and had a child, but the marriage ended more than a decade ago, and he has little to no contact with his child.
Both the break-up of his marriage and a knee injury led to increased drug use. Maulen was using both crack cocaine and methamphetamine, and his drug use and injury to him “made employment sporadic,” Crossin said.
He tried to get clean, but left the recovery facility by choice some time later. Now back at the same recovery center, Maulen was described when he arrived by its director as a “broken man.”
He was homeless at the time of the stabbing, which began as a physical confrontation that the court heard was instigated by the deceased.
The court heard that Haydon “struck the first blow,” knocking Maulen to the ground at a bus stop. There is no evidence to suggest Maulen did anything threatening or intimidating, according to court documents.
Maulen had a “large” knife on him, but there was nothing presented in court to suggest he’d intended to use it. He did end up using it, though, and then attempted to hide the weapon in a nearby bush, the court heard. This was caught on camera, and the knife was located during the investigation.
Justice Crossin said video evidence “makes it clear that for much of the encounter, on the ground, Mr. Maulen was in some jeopardy,” and that the stabbing was “in the agony of the moment.”
He said this suggests it was an isolated incident of violence, and noted Maulen does not have a history of similar conduct.
“Nevertheless, Mr. Maulen went too far,” the judge said, noting that he then fled on his bicycle, leaving Haydon “mortally wounded.”
“Deterrence and denunciation must be paramount. The seriousness of the offense however is not to overwhelm all other considerations,” Crossin said of how he’d reached his decision.
In sentencing Maulen, he said the case required a focus on rehabilitation. When Maulen’s time in jail is complete, he will not be on probation.
He has, however, been prohibited from owning any legal firearm, crossbow, restricted weapon, ammunition and explosive substance for 10 years, and any prohibited weapons, devices and ammunition for the rest of his life.
He was also ordered to provide a DNA sample.