The third week of the trial of Albert Giesbrecht for the alleged 2017 murder of Raymond Bishop wrapped up at Smithers B.C. Supreme Court Feb. 8 with the judge dismissing a defence application.
On Friday afternoon, defence attorney Terry La Liberté applied to have the prosecution furnish particulars on its theory of the means by which the crime of first degree murder was committed — which is legalese for further justifying the charge.
The defence argued the particulars were necessary for the accused to defend himself and receive a fair trial.
In rendering an oral decision on the application, Justice David Crossin first recapped some of the Crown’s theory that on the morning of May 18, 2017, Giesbrecht, with a firearm or firearms in his vehicle, had crossed from Burns Lake to Southside on the ferry with the intent to harass his estranged wife Susan Giesbrecht and/or Bishop, who the accused believed were romantically involved. At the terminal in Southside, the judge said, the two men were allegedly involved in a confrontation. Although there were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, Bishop had died of a single gunshot wound to the chest fired from, according to the prosecution, a 30-30 rifle belonging to Giesbrecht.
Crossin then referenced the definition of first degree murder with emphasis on Section 229.(c) of the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC): “where a person, for an unlawful object, does anything that he knows or ought to know is likely to cause death, and thereby causes death to a human being, notwithstanding that he desires to effect his object without causing death or bodily harm to any human being.”
The judge noted the “unlawful object” as presented by the prosecution’s case was the alleged harassment.
Crossin cited case law indicating the standard for ordering particulars included incomplete or late disclosure of evidence, or the introduction of or intention of prosecutors to introduce an alternative or alternative theories of the crime.
He said he saw “no suggestion of failing” on the part of the Crown to provide the defence with full disclosure of all the evidence it intended to bring and dismissed the application.
The trial is scheduled to continue on Feb. 11 at 10 a.m.