Guilty verdict for woman who shoved teen into C-Train's path
It took a Calgary jury less than three hours to convict Natalie Pasqua of second-degree murder for pushing a teenager last August into the path of a C-Train.
Gage Prevost, 17, died instantly of massive internal injuries at the 8th Street S.W. station downtown on the evening of Aug. 1, 2007, in front of about 100 rush-hour commuters.
Pasqua was arrested later that month in Edmonton and charged with second-degree murder.
The judge gave the jury the options of manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death, but it returned a guilty verdict on the original murder charge Thursday afternoon.
Sitting in the prisoner's box, Pasqua put her head in her hands and cried when she heard the verdict.
The trial heard that Prevost and Pasqua, 27, were fighting over a $10 drug deal for crack cocaine when the teenager pushed Pasqua onto the empty LRT tracks.
Witnesses testified she climbed back onto the platform and struggled with Prevost before pushing him twice into the oncoming train.
Pasqua told the court the deadly shoving match was an accident and that she never intended to kill the teen. She said she was a cocaine addict but was sober at the time of the incident.
Defence lawyer Andre Ouellette said he and his client were preparing for a manslaughter conviction and hoping for an acquittal.
"She was torn apart from the beginning because of what happened," he said. "She was torn apart over her role in what was really tragic circumstances, but she certainly didn't expect that."
Prevost's father, Dale Prevost, said he has no sympathy for Pasqua, and the conviction will help in dealing with his son's death.
"We still have hurdles to go I am sure," he said outside the Calgary courthouse. "It's a big step, and the prosecution did an amazing job, and all the support I've had from friends and family has been amazing to help us through this."
Evidence entered in court showed that Prevost had a blood-alcohol reading more than three times the legal driving limit as well as cocaine in his system when he died.
Thursday's conviction means Pasqua automatically receives a life sentence, but the jury recommended she be granted parole after 10 years.
The Crown and defence will make arguments on parole eligibility next week.