Accused was in fight for his life

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Accused was in fight for his life

[the accused] was acting in self-defence when he was confronted by his friend, [the victim], in his bedroom at his Forest Lawn basement suite and killed him with a meat cleaver last year, lawyer Pat Fagan told a jury on Wednesday.

“It may be one of the biggest understatements in the trial but [the accused] was in a fight for his life,” Fagan said in his final argument in the trial on a second-degree murder charge.  “The physical evidence at the scene supports self-defence,” he said. “What we do know is the actions of [the accused] were justified.”

Fagan said his client’s story on the pertinent facts was consistent throughout - that he was essentially ambushed when he returned to his home in the 2200 block of 42nd Street S.E. on the afternoon of Oct. 12. He said, [the accused], 19, wrestled the cleaver away from [the victim], 18. [the accused] admitted he was drinking and smoking crack cocaine all night with [the victim], then dropped him off at the Whitehorn LRT station after an argument.

Crown prosecutor Gary Cornfield argued the accused was with the victim at the residence all day. He said [the victim’s] cellphone records confirm he was in the area the entire time and was never dropped off at the LRT stop.

“In order to justify the story of self-defence, the accused made up the story of taking [the victim] to the Whitehorn LRT,” said Cornfield. “There were a lot of varying stories on how this happened. A lot of important inconsistencies show he was lying to cover up his position.”

He said there were at least nine blows to the side of the victim’s head, consistent with being attacked.

“Stop and think how easy it would be for a person to make those blows using a meat cleaver,” said Cornfield. “It shows he meant to cause death and [the victim] was not in a position to defend himself. He meant to kill [the victim] or cause him some serious, serious injuries.”

Court heard [the victim] sustained 56 cuts, primarily to the back and side of his head, and bled to death. 

“The fact the accused did not call 911 for his friend, plus the lack of defensive wounds on either party, plus trying to hide the body, shows the accused did not act in self-defence,” said the prosecutor.

The trial continues next Monday.    


Calgary Herald
By: Daryl Slade