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Details of Wesley Hallam's death emerge as three sentenced to jail

EDITOR'S NOTE: Graphic evidence at the Wesley Hallam murder case was clearly disturbing to many who sat today in #1 Courtroom at the Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse. SooToday recommends reader discretion.
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Demonstrators hold signs and wear T-shirts outside the courthouse this morning as the men charged in the 2011 death of Wesley Hallam make an appearance. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Graphic evidence at the Wesley Hallam murder case was clearly disturbing to many who sat today in #1 Courtroom at the Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse. SooToday recommends reader discretion.)

Wesley Hallam died from a three-centimetre wide, six-centimetre-deep stab wound to the left side of his neck, according to a joint statement of facts presented by the Crown and defense lawyers today.

The fatal injury occurred during a house-party knife fight with Ron Mitchell in an upstairs bedroom at 30 Wellington Street East.

Hallam's carotid artery and jugular vein were both severed when Mitchell plunged his four-inch folding knife into Hallam, but there was little initial bleeding.

Partygoers noticed that Hallam seemed a bit wobbly and asked him if he was okay.

He replied that he was fine and asked for a beer and a smoke, the court was told today. 

But then blood started pooling on the floor and Hallam was unable to stand on his own.

Hallam started to convulse near the bathroom and bystanders peeled back his jacket and saw the fatal stab wound.

The joint statement of agreed facts revealed that Hallam was the first to pull a knife at the party, but he had been disarmed by a blow to the arm from Dylan Jocko before he was attacked by Mitchell.

The details of the grisly death have until today been subject to a publication ban.

Five years after being charged with first-degree murder in Hallam's death, Mitchell, Jocko and Eric Mearow each pleaded guilty this morning to manslaughter and indignity to a dead body.

The judge registered convictions this morning on the reduced charges.

The courtroom erupted with outrage and obscenities after the three men who killed Wesley Hallam were all sentenced to less than two years.

Mitchell received a sentence of 22 months, after allowance was made for time served. 

Mearow and Jocko both received two years less a day, after deductions were made for their aboriginal backgrounds and time spent pre-trial in systemic segregation.

All three men have been in custody since they were arrested in early 2011.

This story will be updated.