R. v. C.D.
Charge: Manslaughter with a Firearm
The Toronto Police Service received a 911 call reporting a shooting in an apartment. The woman who made the 911 call reported that a man had been shot and that he was dying. When the police arrived on scene, they located a man in the apartment suffering from a gunshot wound. The man succumbed to his injuries and died. The woman who made the 911 call fled the scene and was not located at that time.
The police searched the apartment and seized a quantity of cocaine and a quantity of crystal methamphetamine as well as 2 firearms, an Uzi machine gun and a 40 calibre Glock handgun.
The woman who made the 911 call was subsequently arrested and charged with drug and firearm offences. She became my client. She remained in custody. I immediately cautioned her that, in all likelihood, she would eventually be charged with the homicide. I carefully cautioned her about the possibility of the police obtaining wiretaps on the telephones used by her relatives and friends and the telephones at the jail where she remained in custody. I also carefully cautioned her about the police possibly using undercover police “cellmates” or “security officers” who would be wired in order to record her discussions. All of these investigative techniques were eventually used by the police. The Toronto Police Service originally suspected that the homicide was gang related. The police investigation of the homicide took approximately one year to complete. The client was charged with manslaughter with a firearm. The drug and firearm charges were stayed by the Crown.
Since the client followed my advice, the offence of manslaughter with a firearm was very difficult for the Crown to prove. I was eventually able to negotiate a very favourable plea bargain on behalf of the client. She pleaded guilty to one count of criminal negligence causing death with a firearm and was sentenced to a period of 2 years in a federal penitentiary in addition to approximately 16 ½ months that she had already spent in pre-trial custody.
I was able to satisfy the Crown that based on the client’s relationship with the deceased, her inexperience with firearms and her young age, her actions were consistent with her having accidentally discharging the firearm or she may not have known that the firearm was loaded.