Deliberations begin in Verma trial
Oct 15, 2013 / 1:59 pm
The jury in the Joelon Verma first-degree murder trial has been sequestered and will begin their deliberations this afternoon (Tuesday), following instructions given by Justice Alison Beames.
Fourteen jury members sat through the trial, which began on Sept. 4 and lasted five weeks. Two of those jury members were excused this morning and the final 12 have been tasked with coming to a consensus on one of three possible verdicts: guilty of first-degree murder, guilty of second-degree murder or not guilty.
Justice Beames told the jury that the case against Verma is a circumstantial one and they must differentiate between direct and circumstantial evidence.
They are now the judges of fact and must ignore any opinions expressed by herself or by either counsel.
If they are to determine Verma’s guilt, it must be the crown’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt – believing that he is probably guilty or likely guilty is not sufficient.
She also instructed them on how to deal with the evidence and submissions presented by both counsels and how to determine the credibility of the dozens of witnesses who took the stand.
To be found guilty of first-degree murder, the jury must consider four elements:
- The identity of Verma, and that he is who killed Brittney Irving
- The date and place of the crime was committed on or near April 6, 2010 in Kelowna
- That the unlawful act committed is what killed her
- That the crime was committed with the intent to kill
Providing the jury agrees to those four things, the fifth element is whether or not the murder was planned and the killing deliberate. If all those elements are agreed upon, the jury will find Verma guilty of first-degree murder. If they can only agree on the first four, he can be found guilty of second-degree murder. If one of those points cannot be agreed upon, Verma will be found not guilty.
Castanet will post the verdict as soon as it becomes available.
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