Decker Lake stabbing. (LDN file photo)

Accused in the Decker Lake stabbing pleads guilty

Sentenced to 297 days in custody and probation upon release

The accused in the Moe road stabbing incident has pled guilty to aggravated assault for the incident from April last year.

Steven James Rinas pled guilty to one count of aggravated assault and was sentenced to 297 days in custody, during his final hearing on Jan. 28 in the Burns Lake Provincial Court as BC Prosecution Service spokesperson Dan McLaughlin shared with Lakes District News.

Rinas, 52, had first appeared before the Smithers court on Apr. 21 last year, after which his bail hearing was set for Apr. 24, 2020. Rinas’ bail was denied and he was ordered to be detained on the charges. With four counts including charges of aggravated assault, two charges of assault with a weapon and one charge of theft of a motor vehicle, Rinas pled guilty to the one charge of aggravated assault.

“The other charges were stayed at the conclusion of the sentence and the matter is now concluded,” said McLaughlin.

Rinas has also been placed on probation for two years after his release. The sentence would have originally been 729 days however, he also received credit for pre-sentence time spent in custody according to McLaughlin.

Earlier in April 2020, the Burns Lake RCMP had found a man stabbed several times, at Moe Road and after an extensive search, police arrested and charged, Steven James Rinas in connection to the stabbing. During his arraignment, Rinas pled not guilty to all the counts and elected to be tried by a provincial court judge.

Rinas was expected to enter a guilty plea during his Oct. 15, 2020 court appearance, however, McLaughlin had informed that a new date was set and that Rinas had sought several adjournments to explore more options.

The man stabbed by Rinas completed his treatment and was released from care last year.

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