A four-woman and eight-man jury has begun deliberating a case involving the attempted murder of a Victoria police officer.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Keith Bracken instructed the jurors Tuesday morning (March 6) that they must first consider whether Guy Hervé Séguin, 57, intended to kill Const. Lane Douglas Hunt, who was 24 years old at the time, outside a downtown Victoria convenience store on Jan. 17, 2011.
The trial spanned four days last week. Crown counsel Steve Fudge and defence lawyer Jordan Watt concluded with their closing arguments Friday.
The Crown alleges that Séguin intended to kill Douglas Hunt with a knife outside 7-Eleven at 816 Douglas St., and maintains that she suffered knife wounds to her hands and puncture wounds to her neck.
The lone officer had responded to the store that morning to investigate a shoplifting case.
“You have now heard all the evidence in this case,” Bracken told jurists Tuesday, before instructing them on two principles of law they are to keep in mind during their deliberations, including the “presumption of innocence” and the “requirement that the Crown prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.”
If the jurors, whom he called the “judges of the facts,” do not reach a unanimous verdict in the attempted murder charge, they must acquit the accused, Bracken said.
They must then consider finding Séguin guilty or innocent of one of three additional charges in their “decreasing order of severity,” including aggravated assault, assault with a weapon or assault causing bodily harm, he explained.
It will be up to Bracken to sentence Séguin if he is found guilty.
In their deliberations, the jury members are encouraged to consult with one another as they review the evidence, and they may take a vote at any time, Bracken said.
In a criminal trial, a verdict must be unanimous, otherwise a mistrial would be called and a new trial and jury would be ordered.
The jurists are permitted to ask the court to reconvene so that they may ask him questions.
Bracken’s lengthy instructions also included the definitions of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, each criminal charge, and included a summary of the testimony and evidence presented during the trial. Bracken talked of how jurors can judge a witness’s credibility, different types of evidence, admissions of fact and the highlights in the cases presented by Crown and defence counsel.
“At the end of the day, you and you alone, must decide what the facts of this case are,” Bracken said.
If the jurists are unable to reach a verdict by about 9 p.m. tonight, they would likely be sequestered overnight in a hotel, to allow them more time to reach a decision, Fudge told the *******News.
For previous trial coverage, visit http://www.vicnews.com/news/141378643.html.