Burns Lake man found guilty of second-degree murder

Judge says murder is the only rational conclusion on the whole of the evidence

A B.C. Supreme Court justice has found Albert Giesbrecht guilty of the May 18, 2017 second-degree murder of Raymond Bishop.

Justice David Crossin delivered his verdict at the courthouse in Smithers this morning.

During the six-week trial, which took place over three sessions between January and March, the Crown painted a picture of an abusive man consumed by bitterness and jealousy over his divorce from his ex-wife Susan Giesbrecht.

READ MORE: Giesbrecht murder trial concludes

On the morning of May 18, 2017, the prosecution said, Giesbrecht took the ferry from Burns Lake to Southside with the intent of criminally harrassing Susan and/or Bishop. According to the Crown’s theory, in pursuit of that “unlawful object” a confrontation between the two men ensued and Giesbrecht shot Bishop with a 30-30 rifle.

The defence did not dispute that Bishop died by Giesbrecht’s hand, but presented an alternate theory that the firearm discharged accidentally when Bishop attacked Giesbrecht. Terry La Liberte, Giesbrecht’s attorney, said that was just one possible scenario that was just as plausible a theory and as such the Crown’s evidence did not rise to the level of beyond a reasonable doubt required to prove murder.

In the end, Crossin said he did not accept the Crown had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it was in pursuit of the unlawful object of criminal harrassment that Giesbrecht killed Bishop.

However, the judge concluded that, on the whole of the evidence, the Crown had met its burden.

“In my view the Crown has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused intentionally shot Mr. Bishop, has proven his motive for doing so,” Crossin said. “I’ve concluded that on all the circumstances, the only rational conclusion is the accused so discharged his weapon intending to cause [Bishop] bodily harm that he knew was likely to cause death and he was reckless whether death ensued or not. There is no other rational conclusion available on the whole of the evidence that has been placed before me.”

The mandatory sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison. The judge adjourned the case to May 31 to fix a date to determine parole eligibility.



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Skidegate celebrates 2020 grads with button blanket ceremony

Graduating students celebrated with Haida singing, drumming, speeches and custom button blankets

VIDEO: Port Clements bumper golf course in full swing

Volunteers, rec staff transformed soccer field into small, social distancing-friendly golf course

Gwaii Trust Society creates ‘Staycation Grant’ for Haida Gwaii residents

Residents may apply for up to $250 to explore adventure opportunities in their own backyard

Iconic Haida Gwaii species to be included in literary field guide for ‘Cascadia’

Experts, artists working on literary field guide with ‘kinship clusters’ for Pacific Northwest

Kristi Lane Sinclair art doc ‘taking a different stance’ on the Gaag.iid

Toronto-based Haida artist hopes to start editing passion project on the fabled ‘wild man’ next month

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Skeena Sawmills in Terrace reach labour agreement with local United Steelworkers union

The four and a half year long deal was ratified on May 19, 2020 and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Community infrastructure funding announced for 24 Northern B.C. projects

Recipients include municipalities, First Nations and not-for-profits

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read