No verdict yet after Day 2 of deliberations in Brandon Phillips murder trial

The 12-person jury concluded deliberations Wednesday evening. No verdict has been reached.

Phillips accused of first-degree murder in shooting death of Larry Wellman

Brandon Phillips (left) consults with his defence attorneys, Jeff Brace and Mark Gruchy (right), prior to court proceedings on Tuesday. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

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.

Larry Wellman, seen in 2006, was shot after intervening during an armed robbery at the Captain's Quarters Hotel in downtown St. John's. (Submitted by Wellman family)

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:

About the Author

Ariana Kelland


Ariana Kelland is a reporter with the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador bureau in St. John's.