John Herrera Garcia murder trial: Verdicts handed down in fatal Beltline beating
49-year-old was walking home with groceries when he was attacked
A Calgary jury has decided the fate of three people accused in the fatal beating attack on John Herrera Garcia in the city's Beltline in 2012.
The 49-year-old was walking home with groceries when he was attacked.
Chantelle Campbell, 30, and Jarod Henry, 25, have been found guilty of second-degree murder, which carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 to 25 years.
Garrett Smith, 29, was acquitted.
The verdict comes after 10 hours of jury deliberation. A sentencing date to determine parole eligibility will be set on Monday.
During the trial both Henry and Smith testified that they believed Herrera Garcia may have kicked their parked car after they yelled an insult at him. They said the three then chased after him.
Find peace, says victim's widow
Unlike the two others, Campbell never testified in her own defence and several witnesses gave evidence that she kicked Herrera Garcia in the head multiple times.
Henry told the jury he caused Herrera Garcia to fall down, kicked him once in the backside and walked away.
Smith testified he never touched the victim. His lawyer Willie deWit says his client made several mistakes that night, including leaving the scene.
"But clearly right from the start he indicated to the police, and everyone else, he was not a part of this assault. And I think a big part of his acquittal was the fact that two of the main Crown witnesses said the same thing, that he wasn't involved in the assault," deWit said.
Herrera Garcia's widow had told the Calgary courtroom earlier on Friday she hopes those accused in her husband's death find peace.
"Everyone deserves a second chance in life," said Gloria Herrera.
She said in victim impact statement that Herrera Garcia fled Colombia to escape violence and was to be reunited with his family a month after he was attacked.
Crown prosecutor Ken McCaffrey says, despite that irony, Herrera Garcia's family is at peace with the process
"It's surprising in terms of what some people's reactions are," he said. "They are very nice to work with. It's very sad what happened to them, I mean the only thing I can say is no one wins in this situation."