The jury didn't buy Shane Richard's claim that he shot and killed Michael Boutros in self defence in Whistler Village in the early hours of March 10, 2007.
The jury heard that an altercation broke out in the village after nightclubs closed involving two groups of men.
According to Richard's testimony, he was a body guard for drug dealer Kyle Gianis, who is currently serving 13 years in jail in the U.S. for smuggling ephedrine. There was an altercation in the bar where Gianis punched one of Boutros's friends, which prompted the fight in the village.
Richard reportedly told Boutros to drop a piece of broken glass he was holding and "fight like a man," when he pulled out a handgun and shot Boutros from a distance of two metres. He says he shot Boutros, 26, of Coquitlam, in self-defence.
An RCMP dog team that was in the village witnessed the incident, and Richard was quickly subdued by the dog while attempting to flee the scene.
Richard, now 29, went to trial on Jan. 12, and the jury went into deliberations on Tuesday, Jan. 27. They came back to the judge on Wednesday and asked to hear Richard's testimony again, and on Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Christopher Hinkson agreed to dismiss one of the jurors who claimed she was having a nervous breakdown. However, the remaining 11 jurors came to the conclusion less than three hours later that Richard - a Surrey resident who was known to police - was guilty of murder in the second degree.
In Canada, second degree murder refers to a murder that was not planned or contracted, or meets any of the other requirements of first degree murder. It carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole from 10 to 25 years.
Justice Hinkson will hear submissions on Feb. 26 before passing sentence on Richard. The jury made no recommendations on parole eligibility.
Although it appeared to be an open and shut case with RCMP witnessing the crime, Sergeant Steve Wright of the Whistler RCMP credited the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) and dog team for a job well done.
"I know IHIT did a lot of background work even if we did have the smoking gun, so to speak," said Sgt. Wright. "IHIT was a tremendous resource for us, I think they spend four days working on the murder investigation...which allowed us to use our resources for policing. We're also very pleased with the verdict."
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