(CMR) Jeremy Ralph Parchman (21) and Shimar Jose Julio Kelly (23) were found guilty of manslaughter Thursday afternoon and remanded into custody immediately after the judge shared her concerns that they posed as a significant flight risk. The prosecution's case focused on two assaults taking place with the second one outside being the fatal altercation on the night of November 29, 2019.
Crown Prosecutor argued the manslaughter trial of the pair was not complicated in her closing arguments several days ago. However, a jury of three men and four women came back on the second day of deliberations asking for the medical report to be read to them again by Justice Cheryll Richards.
Justice Richards spend considerable time this morning reading the statement by the key pathologist physician in the case who initially testified via video link from Canada.
She explained that the doctor noted that a number of scenarios including how he fell and was then rolled over as onlookers attempted to assist him by performing CPR were not contributing factors in his death as the defense suggested. Instead, he concluded that the most likely explanation was a blunt force trauma due to a blow to the head.
There was some discussion about his “terminal collapse” when he fell to the ground outside and the fact that it caused a significant noise. This left the defense wondering if the fall could have caused the internal hemorrhaging and his death. The doctor concluded that was unlikely given the angle of the injury which could only be caused in a particular manner.
This type of injury required a protruding surface and there was evidence of that where he fell.
There was also a question about whether or not the intoxication of the victim played a role in his demise and made him unsteady on his feet.
Judge Richards further reminded the jury of what they had to consider to satisfy themselves that the mean caused the death. She noted that they would have to satisfied that the “unlawful actions of the defendants was a significant or substantial cause of the death of the deceased. They had to find the factual link that their actions caused the death.”
She explained the but-for test as “but for the actions” of the defendant the victim would still be alive.
There was some discussion about whether or not disease or a pre-existing condition may have been the cause of his death but she cautioned that any act of another that hastened the death of a person would be said to have caused the death. She noted that “those who commit unlawful acts against other persons must take their victim as they find them.”
This well-known test in criminal court was explained as
“A defendant will be liable in law if a victim has a pre-existing condition even if it makes him vulnerable and because of the unlawful acts of the defendant the victim would have been still alive.”
There is no requirement that the defendant is aware of the pre-existing condition. They were also cautioned that if they found a factual causative link between the act of the defendants and the death of the victim they must be sure that it was a substantial cause. Although it need not be the only or principal cause it should be something more than a minimal or trivial cause.
The medical evidence was that he suffered from a pre-existing condition and took blood-thinning medication. However, two physicians testified that the defendants punched him outside of the nightclub and that was the likely cause of his death.
The defense suggested the impact of alcohol and whether he might have been unsteady on his feet and whether it was a fall. The doctor said would have been a protruding surface.
If the jury could satisfy themselves of the two elements of the offense then they could find that the charge of manslaughter was proved Richards instructed.
The jury then retired a second time to deliberate further after being released around 12:21 p.m. They returned a guilty verdict. After a brief statement from Ben Tonner, QC the judge remanded them to custody. They left the courthouse shortly after 5:00 pm in a police transport. Kelly was observed hiding his face.
Kevin Parchment, Jeremy's brother pleaded guilty to ABH for his part in the incident.