Calgary Murder Defence Results in Manslaughter Conviction

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Calgary Murder Defence Results in Manslaughter Conviction

Defence counsel David Chow steered his client Carlos Pelaez away from a murder conviction in a case involving the stabbing of his girlfriend, Teresa Enrique.

Pelaez claimed the killing was in self-defence after Enrique stabbed him the stomach in their Okotoks apartment, and though the jury did not agree with this claim they also did not find that Pelaez had the necessary intent for a murder conviction.

Chow is pleased that the defence presented allowed the jury to see the truth of the events that occurred on April 17, 2012, and that Pelaez was not acting with any premeditated desire to kill his girlfriend. Crown prosecutors on the case alleged that the incident was part of a murder/suicide pact between Pelaez and Enrique, but the jury was not convinced.

Enrique had allegedly planned on returning to her native Philippines—also Pelaez's country of origin—the day after the stabbing occurred, and only a month after she had arrived in Canada. The defence argued that in a resulting argument, Enrique first stabbed Pelaez and he acted to protect himself.

The jury's verdict of a murder acquittal but a conviction on manslaughter charges suggests they were more swayed by the defence's version of the incident, believing that a fight took place resulting in Enrique's death and that the surrounding circumstances and chain of events did not warrant a murder charge.

Sentencing will take place in May, where Pelaez will be represented Jim Lutz due to a scheduling conflict with defence lawyer David Chow.


Original Post February 2014