Self-defence argued in killing of daughter's boyfriend
'What would you do if you were Kim Walker?': defence lawyer
The lawyer for Kim Walker, the Yorkton, Sask., man on trial for killing his daughter's boyfriend, is arguing the father acted in self-defence.
Walker, 54, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of James Hayward, 24, on March 17, 2003.
Final arguments in the trial — the second for Walker following an appeal that ordered the case be heard again — took place Friday morning before a jury of seven men and five women.
""What if you were Kim Walker?" Balfour Der, the defence lawyer on the case, asked as he made his arguments for a not guilty verdict.
The jury had already heard how Walker was concerned about the influence Hayward had on his daughter Jadah, who was 16 at the time of the killing.
Der asked the jury to consider Walker's action in light of what was happening to the man's child.
"Jadah becomes helpless because she is addicted," Der said. "She is unable to help herself."
"You know Mr. Walker would do anything for his girl," he added, before outlining for the jury how he wants them to view the actual shooting.
Der called Hayward a "vicious, dangerous man" and said Walker brought a gun with him for self-defence when he went to the man's home.
"If he wants to kill him why does he not enter with gun drawn?" Der said. "His entire focus is on his daughter."
Der pointed out that Hayward was a body builder and Walker an out-of-shape man in his 50s.
"Hayward comes at Mr. Walker with fist raised," Der continued, calling it an aggressive act.
"Mr. Walker was in a panic situation," and that is why he fired his gun.
Der went on to outline for the jury why he wants them to view Walker's actions as self-defence.
"What would you do if you were Kim Walker?" Der repeated. "You would defend yourself."
Use common sense: Crown
Robin Ritter, the Crown prosecutor on the case, also addressed the jury Friday and asked them to focus on the evidence and to "let your common sense be your guide."
"Feelings of sympathy and anger have no place here," Ritter said. "This is the law."
Ritter noted that Jadah Walker was in Hayward's house voluntarily.
He also said that when Walker went to the home on the day of the shooting, he was asked to leave.
"What would you do if you were Kim Walker?" Ritter asked, borrowing the phrase from the defence, but offering a different answer: "Just turn and leave"
Ritter reminded the jury that Hayward was unarmed and did nothing more than ask Walker to leave.
He told the jury to put aside Walker's concern about his daughter's drug use.
"Is this about her drug problem or is this about Mr. Walker and Mr. Walker being in charge?" Ritter said.
Ritter also asked the jury not to give much weight to testimony that Walker may be suffering from a memory lapse. He concluded the Crown's final argument by asking the jury to reject the suggestion that Walker was acting in self-defence, saying it defies common sense.
The next step in the case is for the judge overseeing the trial to provide the jury with instructions. That is expected to take place on Tuesday, with deliberations to follow.
The second trial was ordered after an appeal court ruled errors were made in the original trial four years ago. Because some meetings were held between lawyers and the judge without Walker being present, the conviction was thrown out and a new trial was ordered.
The current trial began May 9.
Yorkton is a city of about 15,000 in southeastern Saskatchewan.