Oak Lake Beach resident Scott Preston died last Friday night and the community is in shock. Another man, also known locally, has been charged.
RCMP report that Nolan Christianson, 27, from Brandon, has been charged with Manslaughter for his involvement in the death of a man at Oak Lake Beach on Nov.12.
At approximately 6:50 pm that Friday evening, Westman and Blue Hills RCMP were dispatched to a report of a stabbing just south of the beach, on the main road.
When police arrived on the scene a 55-year-old male from Oak Lake Beach was located suffering from serious injuries. The victim, Scott Preston, died at the scene.
The investigation was conducted with the assistance of RCMP Major Crime Services and RCMP Forensic Identification Services.
Arrested a short time later in Souris, Christianson has been charged and remains in custody. Police are not looking for any other suspects.
For the RCMP, Julie Courchaine pointed out that the charge of Manslaughter rather than Murder in the first or second degree, is based upon the level of intent in the crime.
Reeve for the RM of Sifton, Cyril Druwe said there was a sense of denial in the community, a feeling that “this doesn’t happen in a small community.” In fall and winter, Oak Lake Beach shrinks from the thousand plus who attend on long weekends to a community of just over 100 residents.
Druwe said Scott Preston loved hockey and had played goal on teams in southwestern Manitoba - Pierson, Souris and Reston. Preston became a resident at Oak Lake Beach and in recent years he had worked at Oak Island Golf Course.
While Sifton Council has discussed a need for more RCMP presence, Reeve Druwe acknowledged the force lacks the resources to do that. “They do patrol at the beach. Just their presence, driving through, speaking to kids,” is an important help. He added, “The community is quite safe,” and says this is a first, to his knowledge, “a spur of the moment” incident.