Common sense inference may apply even where accused may be impaired

Supreme court | Mens Rea

MURDER

Common sense inference may apply even where accused may be impaired

Accused charged with second degree murder. Accused shot deceased in chest with handgun from distance of five feet. Accused testified that he did not intend for gun to go off. Accused had developmental disabilities. Trial judge rejected accused’s evidence and inferred that he intended reasonable consequences of his actions. Accused convicted and conviction upheld by Court of Appeal. Appeal dismissed. Trial judge was entitled to consider “common sense inference” that accused intended natural consequences of his actions. Common sense inference may apply even where accused may be impaired. Trial judge properly considered evidence bearing on accused’s awareness of consequences of his actions before reverting to common sense inference.

R. v. Walle (July 27, 2012, S.C.C., McLachlin C.J.C., Deschamps, Fish, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver and Karakatsanis JJ., File No. 34080) Decision at 93 W.C.B. (2d) 638 was affirmed. 101 W.C.B. (2d) 459 (41 pp.).

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