Discharged of Second Degree Murder

  1. The prosecution alleged that the accused punched the deceased with murderous intent, knowing that the punch was likely to cause death.  Emergency personnel responded to the scene and transported the deceased to the hospital, where she later passed away from complications of the head injuries. The accused was charged with second degree murder.  The defence maintained that the evidence did not support a reasonable conclusion that the accused intended to cause death - a requirement for a conviction on second degree murder.  The defence advanced it position through legal research and submissions at the preliminary inquiry.  The justice at the preliminary agreed that there was insufficient evidence to even require the accused to stand trial for second degree murder.  The accused was, thus, discharged of murder but required to stand trial on the lesser included offence of manslaughter.

NATHAN GORHAM 
CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER
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