New trial for man who killed roommate over alleged relationship with teen

TORONTO – A new trial has been ordered for an Ontario man who beat his roommate to death with a hammer in a drunken confrontation over the other man’s alleged sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Toby Land appealed his second-degree murder conviction in the May 2009 killing of Dominic Doyon, arguing the judge was wrong to rule out the defence of provocation.

Had the defence been presented to the jury, Land argued he could have been convicted of manslaughter instead, which would allow for a lower sentence. Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.

In a ruling released last week, Ontario’s highest court found the trial judge erred in determining that Land could not claim provocation because he had initiated the confrontation while armed.

The three-member appeal panel said the trial judge failed to consider whether Land, who anticipated that Doyon may become violent, could have realistically predicted that his roommate would reach for a samurai sword.

The appeal court added that Doyon’s comments about his relationship with the teen during the dispute could also count as provocation, particularly for Land, who “was raised in a sexually abusive home.”

(The Canadian Press)

Source: Read Full Article