Accused killer Carson Morin acted in self-defence, court hears

Trial of nephew's killer gave Ottawa lawyer victim's view of justice system

The defence lawyer for Carson Morin, on trial for the 2013 fatal stabbing of 20-year-old Michael Wassill, told court Tuesday her client stabbed Wassill out of self-defence.

Morin, 24, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder in Wassill's May 2013 death. 

The Crown has argued that Wassill was killed inside the foyer of his Orléans home on Fernleaf Drive while trying to protect a woman who was Morin's former girlfriend.

Court had previously heard that the woman, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, was a former stripper. She has testified that Morin was forcing her to hand over her wages.

On Tuesday Morin's lawyer, Natasha Calvinho told the jury her client did kill Wassill, but he didn't plan to do it, nor did he do it to get revenge.

'No intention to kill him'

Morin's only plan on May 15 was to go to Wassill's house to get money the woman owed him, Calvinho told the court.

Morin remembers fighting in Wassill's foyer, she said.

He became scared and took out a knife "to fend off Mr. Wassill who had a grip on him," Calvinho said. 

"He had no intention to kill him."

Morin swung blindly in a moment of panic and didn't realize he had stabbed Wassill until he saw blood, Calvinho said.

That's when he fled in fear.

"He felt shame, remorse and fear that his actions caused the death of another," Calvinho told the court, adding that Morin turned himself in a few hours later.

Testifying in his own defence, Morin described his childhood and the weapon used in the stabbing.

In a low, mumbling voice, Morin told the court his parents separated when he was four, causing him to move to Farmington, Detroit.

Weapon was boxcutter

He described the city as violent and unpredictable, adding he got in with bad friends even though he had done well in school at first.

When asked about the knife used in the stabbing, Morin said he kept X-Acto knives in his car for flooring and framing jobs he did, as well as for opening packages.

He said he also kept blue latex gloves in the car for cleaning at work and at home.

The woman, who witnessed the attack, has previously testified that she couldn't see a weapon in Morin's right hand and only got a good look at Morin's left hand — but on that hand, she said, he was wearing some sort of "medical glove."

The accused is the only witness the defence intends to call.