A 28-year-old man charged with manslaughter in the stabbing death of a Halifax man will be staying in jail until his next court appearance.
Michael Rae Ells, also of Halifax, appeared yesterday at Halifax provincial court, with the judge setting a bail hearing for March 2. He has been remanded to the Burnside jail.
Ells was charged with manslaughter Tuesday in the death of 48-year-old Robert Douglas Payne, who was found earlier that day suffering from a stab wound inside an apartment at 6 Foxwood Terr. in Spryfield at 1:34 a.m. Payne was taken to hospital where he later died.
Police say Ells was in the apartment with the victim when officers arrived and was arrested without incident. Police said the victim suffered a stab wound to the chest. “The evidence would have supported that charge, as opposed to first-degree or second-degree murder,” said police spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter, when asked why Ells is facing manslaughter.
“Both of these individuals knew one another and we believe it was an isolated incident. It’s not associated to anything else.”
Palmeter wouldn’t say who called police about the incident, but did say they received a 911 call regarding an injured person at the residence where the victim was found.
Resident Elaine Crawford told Metro on Tuesday Ells lived above her on the third floor and heard a loud bump from the man’s apartment, though she thought it was closer to 11 p.m. She said just before the sound she heard people running upstairs.
Michael Rae Ells has a lengthy criminal history. In the past 10 years, Ells has been convicted of robbery, possession of a weapon, careless use of a firearm and several break and enters. The victim, Robert Douglas Payne, has a handful of criminal convictions, including for robbery and assault.