Monday, December 9, 2019
ADVT 
National

B.C. Court Overturns Murder Conviction, Orders New Trial Based Judge's Answer

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 09 Feb, 2019
  • B.C. Court Overturns Murder Conviction, Orders New Trial Based Judge's Answer

VANCOUVER — British Columbia's top court has overturned a second-degree murder conviction against a man who was found guilty of stabbing a Good Samaritan in downtown Vancouver.


The Appeal Court of British Columbia ordered a new trial in the case of Kenneth Williams, who was handed a life sentence in June 2017 with no chance of parole for 10 years.


B.C. Supreme Court heard 28-year-old Robert Smith was killed when he got out of a cab and tried to intervene in a fight that broke out between the driver and Williams after Williams hit or kicked the vehicle while walking down the street.


The Appeal Court says the trial judge's failure to respond adequately to a question from the jury amounted to a miscarriage of justice.


The ruling says Williams relied on a defence of intoxication to raise a reasonable doubt about whether he intended to stab Smith to death.


It says that while the issue of Williams having drank a considerable amount of alcohol on the evening of the alleged offence was not contested, there was no direct evidence regarding his activities during a 90-minute period between when he left a restaurant and the stabbing.


During their deliberations, jurors asked if they could consider whether Williams continued to drink during that period and the role, if any, the "unaccounted-for time" could play in their decision-making.


"The trial judge failed to answer the jury’s question correctly and completely," Justice Gregory Fitch wrote in the Appeal Court decision.


It says the judge's reply that it was up to jurors to draw whatever inferences they chose prejudiced Williams's intoxication defence and was unlikely to resolve their confusion.


"The jury may have understood the answer as directing it not to consider what the appellant did during the 'unaccounted-for time,' when there was evidence capable of supporting a reasonable inference that he continued to drink," it says.


The ruling says the judge should have reviewed the evidence the jury could consider in determining whether to infer Wilson continued to drink in the period leading up to the stabbing.


Fitch says Williams testified he began drinking heavily in the late afternoon that day, went downtown with the goal of getting drunk and continued on with that goal while he was at a restaurant for two hours.


He says the bar tab confirmed Williams drank a considerable amount of alcohol and when he left the restaurant a witness overheard him telling someone he would be going to a liquor store.


The Crown maintains the witness's statement and the evidence Williams was not displaying obvious symptoms of impairment at the scene of the offence means there is no reasonable possibility he was in an advanced state of intoxication and unable to foresee the consequences of his actions.

MORE National ARTICLES

Vancouver Program Provides 'Window Of Opportunity' To Addiction Treatment

Vancouver Program Provides 'Window Of Opportunity' To Addiction Treatment

Dr. Andrew Kestler, a co-lead of the program at St. Paul's Hospital, said patients get a three-day supply of Suboxone and easy-to-understand instructions from a nurse before they're discharged.

 

 

Vancouver Program Provides 'Window Of Opportunity' To Addiction Treatment

Conservatives' Jason Kenney Criticized For Response To Hate Letter At Edmonton Mosque

Conservatives' Jason Kenney Criticized For Response To Hate Letter At Edmonton Mosque

Kenney has already condemned the letter and neither he nor the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council believe the UCP had anything to do with it.

Conservatives' Jason Kenney Criticized For Response To Hate Letter At Edmonton Mosque

B.C. Political Parties Collect Too Much Personal Information, Report Says

B.C. Political Parties Collect Too Much Personal Information, Report Says

A report by British Columbia's information and privacy commissioner says the province's three major political parties must each do a better job telling people about the information they are collecting about them.

B.C. Political Parties Collect Too Much Personal Information, Report Says

Single Tax Form In Quebec A No-Go For Federal Liberals, Trudeau Says

Single Tax Form In Quebec A No-Go For Federal Liberals, Trudeau Says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threw cold water on any idea his government would give in to the demand for a single tax form in Quebec.

Single Tax Form In Quebec A No-Go For Federal Liberals, Trudeau Says

Body Found In Suspected Richmond Drug Lab: RCMP

Body Found In Suspected Richmond Drug Lab: RCMP

Mounties in Richmond are investigating after they discovered a man's body in what they believe to be a clandestine drug laboratory. 1

Body Found In Suspected Richmond Drug Lab: RCMP

Hackers Targeting Canadian Banks, Mining Companies, Expert Tells MPs

Hackers Targeting Canadian Banks, Mining Companies, Expert Tells MPs

A leading cybersecurity analyst tells MPs that foreign hackers have targeted Canadian banks, mining companies and government institutions in recent years to steal valuable secrets and spread malware.

Hackers Targeting Canadian Banks, Mining Companies, Expert Tells MPs