Nova Scotia

Phillip Boudreau 'murder for lobster' case now in jury's hands

The jury in the "murder for lobster" trial in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., has begun deliberations.

Cape Breton fisherman Joseph James Landry accused of 2nd-degree murder in Boudreau's death

Phillip Boudreau, 43, of Petit-de-Grat, was last seen on June 1, 2013. A deckhand from the fishing boat the Twin Maggies is on trial in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., charged with second-degree murder. (Facebook)

The jury in the "murder for lobster" trial in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., has been sequestered for the night after beginning deliberations Friday afternoon. 

Joseph James Landry, 67, a crew member of the lobster boat Twin Maggies, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of  Phillip Boudreau, 43, of Petit-de-GratBoudreau's body has never been found.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy spent the morning giving jurors directions and outlining their duties.

Kennedy said there are three possible verdicts: guilty of second-degree murder, guilty of manslaughter; or not guilty.

"You're in the very best position to determine this matter," he said.

The Crown has called the case a "murder for lobster." 

Prosecutor Shane Russell said Landry told police he had been pushed to the limit, and wanted to “cripple” and “destroy” Boudreau, who he suspected was cutting his traps, if he got the chance and “let the crabs eat him.”

When Landry saw Boudreau on the morning of his disappearance, he thought it was a good opportunity to get rid of him, the prosecutor said.

In a recorded interview with police, Landry said he fired four shots at Boudreau's boat and then told the captain of the fishing vessel the Twin Maggies to ram Boudreau’s boat.

But Landry's lawyer, Luke Craggs, told jurors Thursday that all four shots hit the boat and Landry had simply wanted to scare Boudreau, who court has heard was cutting lobster traps.

Landry said he made his story up to protect other crew members.

"I wanted to cover for my son-in-law and Craig," he said to a police officer after swearing on a Bible.

His son-in-law, Dwayne Matthew Samson, the captain of the Twin Maggies, is also charged with second-degree murder.

Samson's wife Carla, owner of the lobster boat and Joseph James Landry's daughter, faces a charge of accessory after the fact. Craig Landry, a third cousin of Joseph James Landry, is charged with accessory after the fact.

On mobile? Follow the live blog here.