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Manslaughter plea rejected for man charged with fatally stabbing ex-girlfriend

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Nearly six years after Melinda Vasilije was found fatally stabbed in her Kitchener apartment, the trial of the man accused of killing her is about to begin.

Ager Hasan is charged with second-degree murder in the 22-year-old’s death.

After numerous delays, jury selection for the trial got underway at the Waterloo Region Courthouse on Monday.

Hasan tried to plead guilty to a lesser charge, but the Crown rejected it, meaning the trial will continue as planned.

VASILIJE FOUND DEAD, HASAN PLEAS

Vasilije was found dead in the early morning hours of April 28, 2017 at her apartment on Country Hill Drive.

Within hours of the discovery, Waterloo regional police had named her former boyfriend, Ager Hasan of Hamilton, as a suspect. Police said Hasan, who was 24 years old at the time, had fled south of the border.

“Our investigators from our major crime branch are connecting with as many enforcement agencies as possible,” said police at the time.

He was arrested on July 11, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas, in an unrelated investigation.

Hasan was pulled over during a traffic stop conducted by the United States Secret Service. At the time, police said it was part of a counterfeit currency investigation and Hasan had bought counterfeit money over the dark web.

Several months later, in January 2018, Hasan was brought back to Canada.

CROWN REJECTS MANSLAUGHTER PLEA

Hasan sat in court next to his lawyer on Monday wearing a grey suit, white shirt and glasses. His dark hair has been cut short and he now has a beard.

Hasan pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder but guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in front of prospective jurors.

The Crown told the court they believe he’s guilty of the original charge, and thus, the trial will go on as planned.

It will start just days before the six-year anniversary of Vasilije’s death.

The judge, in their opening remarks, told prospective jurors the trial is expected to last six weeks and will include graphic images of injuries and blood.

Jury selection began on Monday and will continue Tuesday. 

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