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R v W (2016)

  • Clayton Rice, Q.C.

A school bus driver spotted a frozen body near the side of a rural road in central Alberta and called the police. The deceased died from multiple stab wounds and was reported missing. W was arrested the next day driving the deceased’s truck in a city south of the scene. He was with a group of drinking companions. Witnesses who were with W the night before the body was found all said he was drinking heavily. Mr Rice retained a forensic psychologist who concluded that W was incapable of forming the specific intent to commit murder due to alcohol consumption. Based on the anticipated eye witness testimony, and the expert opinion of the psychologist, the Crown Attorney accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter on the morning of jury selection. The case was adjourned for the preparation of briefs and a pre-sentence report. The sentence hearing has been scheduled in 2017.

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