Edmonton man guilty of murdering pregnant friend
A jury has found an Edmonton man who was high on crystal meth when he shot his pregnant friend guilty of first-degree murder.
The family of Olivia Talbot, 19, quietly cheered when they heard the verdict in an Edmonton courtroom Friday morning.
During the trial, Jared Baker, 21, told the jury how he shot his childhood friend, three times to her stomach and twice to the head, in November 2005, but insisted it was under a drug-induced psychosis.
The Crown called it a cold, calculated murder because Baker was angry at Talbot for using drugs while pregnant.
Prosecutor Kimberly Goddardurged the jury to convict Baker, who was not the father of Talbot's unborn child,of first-degree murder.
Baker's lawyer argued that the tall, lanky young man should not be held criminally responsible because longtime drug use had sent Baker on a descent into madness.
"I have a renewed faith in this justice system," said Olivia's mother, Mary Talbot, outside court Friday.
"I'm so glad the jury had the sense to see what it was for what it was. And to be perfectly honest, my heart does go out to his family and I don't wish them any ill will."
The jury heard conflicting testimony from expert witnesses during the trial about Baker's state of mind.
One psychiatrist said Baker had a skewed sense of reality at the time of the shooting, while others said Baker was aware that what he did was wrong.
Baker had testified he believed Talbot's unborn baby was talking to him, and that he heard voices in his head.
Baker hasbeen sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.