Jury find Yukon man charged in 2017 Whitehorse double homicide fit to stand trial

·1 min read
The Yukon court house in Whitehorse. A jury has declared Everett Chief, who's facing two murder charges as well as an attempted murder charge, fit to stand trial. (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)
The Yukon court house in Whitehorse. A jury has declared Everett Chief, who's facing two murder charges as well as an attempted murder charge, fit to stand trial. (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)

A Yukon man accused in a 2017 Whitehorse double homicide has been declared fit to stand trial.

A 12-person jury delivered its verdict Friday afternoon following a two-week fitness trial for Everett Chief, who faces a count each of first- and second-degree murder, respectively, in relation to the deaths of Wendy Carlick and Sarah MacIntosh.

Carlick and MacIntosh were found dead in MacIntosh's home in the McIntyre subdivision in April 2017.

Police arrested and charged Chief about a year later.

He's also facing a separate attempted murder charge.

The jury deliberated for about two hours before arriving at its verdict.

The evidence presented during the trial is covered by a publication ban.

Fitness trials are rare

Fitness trials before juries are rare. They're meant to determine whether an accused person is mentally capable of having a meaningful presence and meaningfully participate in a criminal trial, including whether the accused understands legal processes and the possible consequences of a trial, and if the accused can effectively communicate with a lawyer.

The verdict in a fitness trial is not related to a person's mental state at the time a crime was allegedly committed.

Chief, who was seated next to his lawyer, showed little reaction after the jury delivered its verdict.

He has 30 days to file an appeal.

A trial date for the murder charges has not yet been set, although the Crown and defence have tentatively picked dates in December and April to deal with procedural matters.

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