Former Highlands town councillor Ken Brotherston and his two sons were found not guilty of second-degree murder on Friday. ((CBC))

A B.C. judge has found a former Victoria-area councillor and his two sons not guilty of the second-degree murder of Keith Taylor.

Ken Brotherston, 53, and his sons, Ken Jr., 33, and Gregory, 27, were cleared of the charges by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janice Dillon in Victoria on Friday.

During the trial, it was alleged the senior Brotherston beat and choked Taylor, 33, to death in May 2008 at a crack house in the Victoria suburb of Colwood while his sons prevented anyone from intervening.

A former town councillor in the community of Highlands, Brotherston admitted during his testimony that he beat and choked Taylor after the suspected drug dealer threatened him with a gun and a knife but insisted he never intended to kill the man.

Lawyer argued self-defence

Steven Kelliher, who represented the Brotherstons, told the court that Taylor had tried to extort $100,000 from Ken Brotherston and his sons, who were both crack addicts.

He said several of the key witnesses who were in the house at the time of Taylor's death were also crack addicts, as was Taylor himself.

Kelliher said the Brotherstons were simply defending themselves from a houseful of delusional and paranoid drug addicts who had been bingeing for days.


  • The case was heard by a judge alone, not by a judge and jury as previously reported.
    Jan 29, 2010 9:59 AM PT