Addison Nickoles Wakefield v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Alta.) (Criminal) (As of Right)
Criminal law - Elements of offence - Criminal law - Second degree murder - Elements of the offence - Whether the trial judge erred in finding that the Crown had proved the elements of the offence of second degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
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The appellant, a drug dealer, was convicted of second degree murder. The trial judge found that he and his co-accused had gone to the victim’s home with the intent to collect a drug debt and that both intended to commit a robbery or an act of intimidation in the course of that venture. The victim was fatally stabbed in the legs, and there was evidence at trial that pointed to the appellant as having inflicted the stab wounds. The appellant appealed his conviction on several grounds. In particular, he argued that the trial judge failed to consider whether the Crown had established the mental element of the offence. A majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. Berger J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal and ordered a new trial. In his view, while it was clear that the appellant meant to cause bodily harm, there was no evidence that he had knowledge of the foreseeable consequences of that harm.
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