A B.C. Supreme Court justice is scheduled to render his decision in the Albert Giesbrecht murder case on May 24.
At the end of the six-week trial in Smithers—which took place in three parts, two weeks in January, three in February and one at the end of March—Justice David Crossin said he was sensitive to the fact Mr. Giesbrecht was in custody and would try to schedule the verdict as quickly as possible.
Giesbrecht is accused of killing Raymond Bishop, who he suspected was romantically involved with his ex-wife Susan Giesbrecht according to evidence presented at trial.
The Crown contends Giesbrecht took the ferry from Burns Lake to Southside on May 18, 2017 with the intent of criminally harassing Susan and/or Bishop. Near the ferry terminal, a confrontation between the two men ensued and Bishop wound up dead by a single gunshot wound to his chest from Giesbrecht’s 30-30 rifle.
The prosecution argued because the killing took place while Giesbrecht was engaged at the time in an “unlawful object,” the harassment, the charge of murder was justified.
The defence’s version was that Bishop charged Giesbrecht kicking him in the ankle and the gun accidentally went off as he was falling down. Defence counsel Terry La Liberté argued the Crown had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that its theory of the crime was the only reasonable explanation.
Giesbrecht was originally charged with first-degree murder, but prosecutor Sandy MacDonell dropped that charge at the beginning of closing summations on March 25 and argued for second-degree murder.
Second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with eligibility for parole between 10 and 25 years.