William Joles second-degree murder case in jury's hands

The jury must decide if William Joles, 29, intended to kill his friend Nathan Deslippe in August 2016.

Nathan Deslippe, 27, was beaten to death in August 2016 in his Colborne Street apartment

William Omar Joles, 29, is charged with the second degree murder of Nathan Deslippe. (Supplied)

The Crown says William Joles intended to kill his friend, beat him to death and has been lying to the jury ever since to avoid responsibility. 

The defence says Joles was drunk, he blacked out and couldn't have known what he was doing in August 2016 when his friend Nathan Deslippe died. 

Now it's up to the jury to decide whether Joles is guilty of second degree murder or of manslaughter. 

They began deliberations Wednesday in the early afternoon. The jury asked one legal question Wednesday evening but by 9 p.m. were told to wrap up for the night. They resume their task Thursday morning. 

If they think Joles intended to kill Deslippe, he's guilty of second-degree murder. 

If they think he didn't, they can find him guilty of manslaughter. 

"He has told you all a tale to get away with murder," assistant Crown attorney Vanessa Decker told the jury Wednesday during closing arguments. The trial continues on Thursday. 

"This was not a one-punch, person-falls-back-and-dies scenario. This was a prolonged and repeated beating to Nathan's head and body."

In fact, Deslippe had more than 35 blows to his body, his neck and his face. 

Joles dislocated his shoulder during the beating. His right hand was badly bruised and swollen, his shirt sleeve covered in blood. 

His blackouts come at convenient times for his defence, Decker said. 

"This was a man who punched his friend so hard his pinky finger punctured his palm. Think about the amount of anger and rage it would take to deliver that beating," Decker said. "This was a man who cold-heartedly killed his friend because he felt disrespected." 

'A deadly cocktail'

But defence lawyer John Getliffe told the jury the death was "a tragic event" that happened because both men were drinking to excess. 

"These were two friends who considered themselves brothers," he said. "Testosterone, adrenaline and alcohol are a deadly cocktail." 

When he was tested, Deslipple's blood alcohol was .135, much higher than the .08 limit for driving. Joles' blood alcohol level wasn't tested at the time of the crime, but his was likely similarly elevated because the two friends split a 4L box of wine, Getliffe said. 
Nathan Deslippe was killed in August 2016. He was a well-known yoga instructor and life coach. (Supplied)

"Of course his time line is blurred or appears irrational... It is the truth for Will as he remembers it," he said. 

"It is clear that he's under the influence. Who takes a picture of themselves in such a situation if they are of a rational mind?" 

Earlier, court heard Joles took a picture of himself reflected in a bedroom mirror, naked and covered in blood. The Crown alleges that the selfie was a souvenir. 

If Joles had intentionally killed his friend, Getliffe says he wouldn't have called witnesses to come over — he called two friends after the killing. 

"It's a matter of lack of judgment as a result of drunkenness. There is a reasonable doubt to intent. He is guilty of manslaughter."