Sunday November 23, 2014

Lesann murder trial ends


A Court of Queen’s Bench judge in Yorkton has deferred her verdict in the murder trial of Richard Lesann.

Lesann is accused of murdering Tammy Kulaway on March 12, 2011.

The two-week trial wrapped up May 22 with closing arguments from the Crown and defence. The defence, led by David Rusnak, argued Lesann should be acquitted on the basis of self-defence. If Madam Justice C.L. Dawson, returns a guilty verdict, the defence is seeking the defendant be declared not criminally responsible saying his mental capacity was so reduced at the time of the killing that he was not able to form the specific intent to commit murder.

To justify the defence position, Rusnak relied on the testimony of Dr. Mansfield Mela, a respected forensic psychiatrist from the University of Saskatchewan.

The Court also heard from two defence witnesses, who testified they had received bizarre phone calls from the accused suggesting he had been detached from reality at the time of Kulaway’s death.

The Crown, represented by Darryl Bode, never waivered on its call for a second-degree murder verdict. Bode presented two expert witnesses of his own to rebut Dr. Mela’s opinion.

At the end of the trial, Dawson set a date of June 20 to schedule a hearing to render her decision.



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