Victoria police Const. Lane Douglas Hunt was overcome with emotion and tears filled her eyes late Tuesday afternoon when a jury found a Victoria man guilty of trying to kill her last year.
It took the four-woman and eight-man jury about five and a half hours to unanimously reach their verdict at the close of the four-day attempted murder trial of 57-year-old Guy Hervé Séguin on March 2.
As he sat in the defendant's box, Séguin's expression did not change.
He has been in custody ever since his arrest on Jan. 17, 2011, the day he attacked Douglas Hunt, then 24, with a knife outside a 7-Eleven convenience store at 816 Douglas St.
The patrol officer suffered puncture wounds to her neck and severe slashes to her hands in the attack.
Douglas Hunt sat in the gallery with her parents Cliff Hunt and Mary Douglas Hunt and her older sister Brittany, among other supporters. Mary moved to her daughter's side to wrap her arm around her daughter's shoulders moments after the verdict was announced.
After leaving the courtroom, Hunt said it would take time for him to process everything.
"This past two weeks has been the most emotionally draining and gut-wrenching thing that my family has ever gone through," he said. "To see the evidence, to see the attack, to see the stalking, to see the blows being struck, was just unbelievably difficult.
"Literally, this would have been a murder trial if not for one-sixteenth of an inch that the blade did not penetrate the carotid artery. I still haven't wrapped my head around that."
As Crown prosecutor Steve Fudge left the courtroom, he was hugged and profusely thanked by each member of the Douglas Hunt family.
"It was a challenging case," said Fudge, a prosecutor for 24 years. "Attempted murder is always one of the most difficult crimes to prosecute because you have to prove a specific intention to kill."
There was evidence "going both ways," including testimony from the defendant that was inconsistent at times, he said.
As to the length of time it took for the jurors to reach a verdict, Fudge said it was "pretty fast."
"I think the jury took their time and considered carefully what they believed and what they didn't believe," said Fudge, who approved the criminal charge against Séguin after he was arrested.
The Douglas Hunts expressed their gratitude to those who helped their daughter at the time of the attack and during the past year.
"I had been home from the hospital the night she'd been stabbed not even 10 minutes, and a police car pulled up with this huge bouquet of flowers from an anonymous person, overwhelmed that a police officer had been attacked," Hunt said. "And then the flowers just kept coming and kept coming."
Séguin's sentencing hearing will be fixed in B.C. Supreme Court on March 21.