No verdict yet after Day 2 of deliberations in Brandon Phillips murder trial
Phillips accused of first-degree murder in shooting death of Larry Wellman
The 12-person jury in the Brandon Phillips first-degree murder trial ended its second day of deliberations Wednesday at 5 p.m. without reaching a verdict.
Jurors began discussions Wednesday morning at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's.
They returned with a question around 3:40 p.m. and, in an unusual move, Justice Valerie Marshall closed the court while the jury asked its question.
The six men and six women were first sequestered Tuesday.
Phillips, 29, was charged on Oct. 10, 2015 with shooting Larry Wellman during a botched holdup at the Captain's Quarters Hotel in St. John's a week earlier.
The Crown alleges Phillips brought a loaded firearm to the hotel's bar and had planned to use it if anyone got in the way of his robbery attempt.
The Nova Scotia prosecutors say they've proven first-degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt, which they say is supported by DNA and gunshot residue evidence.
The defence, however, has argued the Crown has only proven manslaughter — at best.
Mark Gruchy and Jeff Brace point to issues with the sawed-off shotgun having discharged automatically in testing.
Wellman, 63, was killed by a single gunshot to the groin. The defence says this suggests the masked gunman didn't intend to kill him.
Marshall instructed jurors on the law before dismissing them Tuesday.
Jurors are able to find Phillips guilty of lesser charges, if they so choose, including second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Jurors are expected to return for deliberations Thursday morning.
So far in the trial, the jury has:
- Seen security footage from the bar during the 2015 robbery
- Heard from Wellman's widow about the night her husband was killed
- Listened to testimony from Const. Barry Reynolds, the police officer who stayed with Wellman during his final moments
- Heard from Shawn Deeley, a former patron at the Captain's Quarters
- Received an update from Dr. Simon Avis, chief medical examiner for Newfoundland and Labrador, who testified Wellman was killed by a single gunshot to the groin
- Been shown evidence such as a mask and shotgun that were collected after the shooting
- Learned that a single particle of gunshot residue was found on a hat discovered near the hotel
- Heard evidence that the alleged murder weapon discharged in testing without touching the trigger
- Been told DNA belonging to Phillips was found on hat, sneakers, shotgun shell
- Heard Premier Dwight Ball's apartment and cars were watched following the shooting
- Heard final arguments from both sides
- Been instructed on the law by Justice Valerie Marshall