Nova Scotia

Jury to consider 2nd-degree murder charge in Tylor McInnis homicide

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge told a jury Monday they will no longer consider a charge of first-degree murder against the man accused of killing Tylor McInnis, whose body was found two years ago in the trunk of a stolen car left in a cemetery.

McInnis, 26, found dead in August 2016 in car abandoned in cemetery

Tylor McInnis, 26, of Halifax was found dead in August 2016. (Facebook)

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge told a jury Monday they will no longer consider a charge of first-degree murder against the man accused of killing Tylor McInnis, whose body was found two years ago in the trunk of a stolen car left in a cemetery.

Instead, Justice Denise Boudreau told the seven-man, seven-woman panel hearing the case that when she gives her final charge, she will be instructing them on a charge of second-degree murder against Shawntez Neco Downey.

Downey has been on trial for first-degree murder in a Halifax courtroom since last month. He is also facing charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and forcible confinement involving a second victim, McInnis's friend Liam Thompson.

Downey's younger brother Daniel Romeo Downey is also facing charges in the case. But Boudreau told the jury Monday morning that Daniel Downey is no longer facing a charge of robbery. Instead, she will be instructing the jury on charges of kidnapping, forcible confinement and being an accessory to murder.

McInnis's body was found inside a car at St. Thomas Baptist Church cemetery. (Dave Laughlin/CBC)

The body of McInnis, 26, was found in a car abandoned in a cemetery in North Preston, N.S., early in the morning of Aug. 23, 2016. He had been shot.

During the trial for the Downey brothers, the jury has heard that Thompson and McInnis went to North Preston to meet Shawntez Downey.

The Crown alleges that Shawntez shot McInnis after he tried to run away. Thompson was held at the scene before he managed to escape and run to the home of relatives who lived nearby.

After the judge informed the jury of the changes to the charges the Downey brothers face, lawyers for both men indicated they would not be calling any evidence. They will now meet with the judge to discuss final arguments and instructions.

Jurors have been told to return to court Wednesday morning, at which time they will hear final arguments from the two sides. Then the judge will instruct them on the law before they begin their deliberations.

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