Canada Pinacie-Littlechief found not guilty in 2015 stabbing death of Justin Crowe

21:02  06 april  2018
21:02  06 april  2018 Source:   leaderpost.com

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a woman wearing a suit and tie: .© TROY FLEECE .

Tia Justice Pinacie-Littlechief has been found not guilty in the 2015 stabbing death of 27-year-old Justin Crowe.

The 23-year-old woman was charged with second-degree murder following the Oct. 27, 2015 incident, which occurred at Crowe’s parents’ house on the Piapot First Nation.

Pinacie-Littlechief’s trial started at Regina Court of Queen’s Bench almost three weeks ago and, at noon on Thursday, Justice Jeff Kalmakoff finished his instructions to the 11-person jury and sent them to begin deliberations.

The jury returned with its verdict at about 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Following the verdict, members of Crowe’s family were sobbing or shouting obscenities at Pinacie-Littlechief. The shouting continued in the courthouse hallway and Regina police were called in to provide extra security.

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Pinacie-Littlechief and her family exchanged hugs as they were asked to stay in the courtroom for the sake of security.

The case revolved around the issue of self-defence, Pinacie-Littlechief having claimed she was trying to protect herself from Crowe, who she said had become increasingly angry and violent as the alcohol-filled night wore on.

Witnesses called by the Crown testified to the contrary, many stating they hadn’t seen Crowe acting violently. Meanwhile, one woman took the blame for assaults on several females that night.

The jury also heard differing takes on what happened at the moment of the stabbing. While many witnesses told the court they weren’t physically present or were blacked out due to alcohol consumption, Crowe’s close friend Henry Thorn told the court Pinacie-Littlechief grabbed for a knife in the drawer and had a clear path to the open back door when she turned and stabbed Crowe who, with Thorn, had been following her.

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Pinacie-Littlechief testified Crowe had, a few minutes earlier, attacked her and her 16-year-old cousin. She said she went into the house to retrieve her phone and was again attacked by Crowe, who she claimed choked her. She told the jury she had a knife in her hand and her back to the counter with the significantly larger male facing her when she either lunged toward him or he moved toward her, resulting in the stabbing.

Court heard Crowe died as the result of a stab wound to the heart. A large carving knife was identified as the weapon used.

In instructing the jury, Kalmakoff spoke to the law pertaining to this case, detailing in particular law relating to self-defence. Under the law, a person can commit an otherwise unlawful act if acting in defence of themselves or someone else when confronted with an actual or threatened use of force. For the defence to stand, the person’s actions must be considered “reasonable in the circumstances.”

Kalmakoff also went over some of the evidence heard over the course of the trial, and instructed jurors on how they might deal with various inconsistencies they heard from both Crown and defence witnesses.

The jury was provided with three options in terms of verdict: guilty of second-degree murder as charged, guilty of the lesser and included charge of manslaughter, or not guilty.

hpolischuk@postmedia.com

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Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-69627-pinacie-littlechief-found-not-guilty-in-2015-stabbing-death-of-justin-crowe/

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