A 24-year-old man who claimed he was acting in self-defence when he shot another man to death two years ago in downtown Dartmouth, N.S., has been found guilty of second-degree murder.
A jury returned with its verdict Friday afternoon in the trial of Justin Ronald Adams-Clarke, 24, who was charged in the May 12, 2021, death of Tyler Michael Boyd Algee, 22.
The trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court heard the two had scuffled after meeting at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth the day before the killing, and that Algee, a mixed-martial arts fighter, had put Adams-Clarke in a choke hold.
When the two met again the next day, Adams-Clarke testified he took a shotgun out of a bag to intimidate Algee and prevent a fight, but fired it when Algee advanced on him.
The Crown argued that Adams-Clarke went looking for Algee. The jury was told that Adams-Clarke texted a friend that day to tell him he was going to have to kill Algee.
Emotions ran high in the courtroom. When the jury foreman said Adams-Clarke was not guilty of first-degree murder, there was a collective gasp and someone shouted "what!"
Algee's mother sobbed uncontrollably throughout. Outside court, Algee's stepfather, Robert Keough, said the jury failed his son and the experience was like Tyler had died for a second time.
"This has been very difficult for the victim's family, friends and other affected persons," Crown prosecutor Janine Kidd said outside court.
"We know that the criminal trial process has a truth seeking function and the jury's verdict demonstrates what they did and what they did not accept from the evidence presented at trial."
Laura McCarthy, one of Adams-Clarke's lawyers, said there's a lot of work to do between now and when the case returns to court in June.
McCarthy said that will include an Impact of Race and Culture Assessment report and "there'll be lots of additional information for the court to consider like victim impact statements and things like that and the case law in general."
McCarthy said the defence will be recommending to Justice John Bodurtha a prison term at the low end of the scale, which runs from 10 to 25 years.
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