New Brunswick

Sheehan found guilty of second-degree murder in stabbing death

Kenneth Larry Sheehan has been found guilty of the second-degree murder of William Dean.

A judge found Kenneth Larry Sheehan guilty of the second-degree murder of William Dean Thursday.

Justice William Grant made the ruling at the Saint John Court of Queen's Bench.

Sheehan, 41, had been drinking at Dean's apartment in the south end of the port city on Dec. 21, 2007, when an argument erupted after Dean made comments about Sheehan's wife, court heard.

Dean, 45, died after being stabbed 18 times in the chest, neck, face and hands.

Sheehan had previously pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter but the Crown wouldn't accept his plea and he was tried for second-degree murder.

During the court case, which was heard by a judge alone, Sheehan's lawyer argued his client had been drinking the night of the murder and was in an advanced state of intoxication, therefore he didn't realize the consequences of his actions.

Grant said based on expert testimony presented in the case, he did not accept that argument.

The judge also ruled that the argument of sudden provocation wasn't valid in Sheehan's case because evidence presented in court showed there had been an exchange of "crude" comments for at least an hour before Dean was stabbed to death.

Sheehan's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 19.