Judge to decide manslaughter case

Was Marguerite John acting in self defence or did she kill her common-law husband to end an abusive relationship?

Was Marguerite John acting in self defence or did she kill her common-law husband to end an abusive relationship?

That’s a question being contemplated by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Douglas Halfyard as John’s trial came to a close on Tuesday in Campbell River.

The 33-year-old Zeballos resident is charged with manslaughter in the stabbing death of her estranged husband Russell John.

The 42-year-old died from a single stab wound to the heart on March 7, 2009. Just seconds after he was stabbed in his uncle’s home on the Ehattesaht Reserve, Marguerite made a frantic 911 call.

“He’s bleeding to death!” Marguerite told the ambulance operator, in a recording heard at trial last week. “I stabbed him in the chest…he’s bleeding to death, we need an ambulance fast!…Russell, wake up!”

But the bleeding couldn’t be stopped and Russell died before an air ambulance was able to fly him out of the tiny West Coast village.

In the Crown’s summation, prosecutor Leslie Fillingham said the 911 call is a key piece of evidence in the case. During the call, Marguerite told the operator that she’s still intoxicated and stabbed Russell because he often beats her up.

During the trial, relatives testified they occasionally saw Marguerite with black eyes or bruises on her arms. They also indicated that she wanted to get of the abusive, alcohol-fuelled relationship with Russell.

However, Fillingham pointed to inconsistencies in Marguerite’s version of events (Marguerite did not testify at the trial).

The night before Russell was killed, Marguerite had been waiting for her mother to return from shopping in Campbell River.

After helping to unpack the groceries, Marguerite indicated she was tired and wanted to go to bed. However, Russell was waiting for her inside the trailer.

She had kicked him out of their home several months earlier, in an attempt to stop drinking, but it appeared they were trying to reconcile their relationship.

But on that night, the two began drinking vodka which led to an argument.

At some point, she kicked Russell out of the trailer and he punched out a window with his fist.

The next morning, said Fillingham, Marguerite woke up and was angry at Russell because her trailer was a mess and her door key was missing.

She went to where Russell was staying and slapped him on the cheek to wake him from his stupour.

Moments later, she stabbed Russell in the chest with a folding knife. She later told police she stabbed him to avoid being beaten.

paulr@campbellrivermirror.com

 

Just Posted

Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

Speaker talks to Campbell River kids, parents about staying safe in a social media world

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

BC Hydro increasing flow down Elk Falls to assist steelhead migration and spawning

Water flows within Elk Falls Canyon are increasing today to assist steelhead… Continue reading

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read