Majority erred by making finding of fact that trial judge declined to make

Supreme court | Criminal Law | Offences against the person and reputation | Murder

Accused and co-accused M, along with T and B, went to deceased's house to collect drug debt, where M and deceased got into fight. Accused allegedly told B that he stabbed deceased in leg, which was fatal due to severing arteries. Trial judge found that accused and M went to deceased's house with intent to collect drug debt and intent to commit robbery or act of intimidation. Judge convicted accused of second degree murder. Accused was not successful in appeal. Accused appealed to Supreme Court. Appeal dismissed. Verdict of manslaughter was substituted, and matter was remitted to trial judge for sentencing. Conclusion that it was accused who inflicted the stab wounds was well founded in evidence. In doing so, majority erred by making finding of fact that trial judge declined to make. Trial judge failed to consider crucial question of what appellant subjectively knew and intended at time of stabbing. By accepting trial judge’s statement of intent as sufficient to support conviction for murder, majority further erred.

R. v. Wakefield (2019), 2019 CarswellAlta 816, 2019 CarswellAlta 817, 2019 SCC 26, 2019 CSC 26, Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Rowe J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellAlta 2557, 2018 ABCA 360, Ronald Berger J.A., Peter Martin J.A., and Jo'Anne Strekaf J.A. (Alta. C.A.).

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