Ontario Criminal


Evidence

CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE
Motive relevant by making it more likely accusedcommitted crime

Accused doctor convicted of manslaughter in death of wife. Cause of death multi-drug toxicity caused by legal levels of two anesthetics. Accused testifying he injected wife with acceptable levels of anesthetic for therapeutic purposes. Defence theorizing death caused by deceased administering further doses of anesthetic, consuming alcohol. Crown theorizing death caused by criminal negligence. Crown alternatively theorizing accused committed manslaughter by unlawful act of aggravated assault by intentionally administering harmful amount of anesthetic. Trial judge charging jury on both theories of liability. Crown relying on evidence of declining state of marriage as evidence of motive to commit manslaughter by intentional assault. Appeal from conviction dismissed. Trial judge did not err by admitting evidence of motive even though accused not charged with murder. Though not essential element of criminal responsibility, motive relevant by making it more likely accused committed crime. Motive piece of circumstantial evidence showing accused intentionally injected wife with anesthetic.

R. v. Roncaioli

(May 13, 2011, Ont. C.A., Laskin, Armstrong and LaForme JJ.A., File No. C48861) 95 W.C.B. (2d) 583 (23 pp.

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