WATCH ABOVE: Crown prosecutor Kim Goddard spoke to reporters on Friday just moments after Jayme Pasieka was found guilty on all 10 charges he was facing, including two counts of first-degree murder, in connection with a stabbing attack at an Edmonton warehouse in 2014.
WARNING: Disturbing content.
A jury found Jayme Pasieka guilty Friday afternoon on both counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of two of his co-workers at an Edmonton warehouse.
The jury found Pasieka fatally stabbed 50-year-old Fitzroy Harris and 41-year-old Thierno Bah at a Loblaw warehouse on Feb. 28, 2014. Four other people were injured in the attack.
Pasieka had pleaded not guilty to all 10 charges he was facing. In addition to the first-degree murder charges, he was also charged with four counts of attempted murder and four counts of aggravated assault.
The jury found him guilty on all charges.
Watch below: A jury found Jayme Pasieka guilty on all charges Friday, including two counts of first-degree murder for a 2014 warehouse stabbing. Fletcher Kent is at the law courts with the details.
As the guilty verdicts were read, members of Harris’ family could be heard sighing with relief and then beginning to cry.
Pasieka’s demeanour did not change. He sat still in the prisoner’s box with his arms crossed as he looked at the jury.
A first-degree murder conviction comes with an automatic life sentence without possibility of parole for 25 years. Convicted murderers who are paroled remain on parole for the rest of their life.
After the verdict was read, the judge asked the jury if they thought the first-degree murder sentences should be served consecutively or concurrently. However, the jury unanimously decided not to make a recommendation.
The Crown did not indicate whether it would pursue consecutive sentences.
“Recent changes to the Criminal Code allow for consecutive parole eligibility and so one of the things that’d we’ll be arguing at the sentencing hearing is whether or not he’ll be eligible for parole after 25 years or 50 years, depending on whether it will be served consecutively or not,” Crown prosecutor Kim Goddard said outside the courtroom.
Goddard added she would also like “to come up with a sentence to reflect the other victims in the case because certainly we have the most tragic deaths of the victims, but we have four other individuals whose lives were forever changed and shattered from this event who need an opportunity to have what they went through reflected as well.”
Family of victim Fitzroy Harris cries and give sighs of relief as the guilty verdicts are read. #yeg
— Fletcher Kent (@FletcherKent) March 3, 2017
No change in demeanour from Pasieka. He's still sitting in the prisoner's box, arms crossed looking across at the jury. #yeg
— Fletcher Kent (@FletcherKent) March 3, 2017
During closing arguments, Pasieka’s lawyer told jurors they should question whether Pasieka actually planned to kill his co-workers and suggested he could be found guilty of manslaughter in Harris’ and Bah’s deaths.
Watch below: On March 2, 2017, Julia Wong filed this report about the Crown and defence giving their closing arguments in the first-degree murder trial of Jayme Pasieka. WARNING: Disturbing content.
The defence argued Pasieka had schizophrenia and was sad about the violence that transpired in the warehouse.
“The diagnosis of schizophrenia in and of itself is not something that – it’s scary if you don’t know about it, but if you know people with schizophrenia, you realize that there are people who are able to function and who are able to get help,” Goddard said. “Unfortunately, Mr. Pasieka didn’t take any of those steps.”
The Crown argued Pasieka’s mental health issues didn’t mean he could not form intent and that a 911 tape revealed Pasieka kept saying “die” over and over again as he stabbed one of his victims, indicating intent to kill.
The Crown also argued Pasieka was rational when purchasing the knives used in the attack, saying he bought extras in case the knives became dull.
“It might have been a suffering mind, but it was a rational one.”
“He’s not random. He’s not wild,” the Crown argued, adding Pasieka could be seen on video following traffic laws driving away from the warehouse after the rampage.
On Wednesday, Pasieka took the stand at his own trial and told the court he had suffered a nervous breakdown at the time of the deadly attack. He also admitted he intended to kill his victims.
Watch below: On March 1, 2017, Fletcher Kent filed this report after Jayme Pasieka has admitted to killing people because he wanted help for his mental illness. WARNING: Disturbing content.
The jury was sequestered Thursday evening but came back Friday morning with a request to hear Pasieka’s full testimony again.
Jurors were brought back into open court to listen to a recording of the testimony.
The jury deliberated for about seven hours, not counting the time spent listening to Pasieka’s testimony again.
Over the course of Pasieka’s trial, which began on Feb. 21, 2017, jurors saw and heard graphic evidence including 911 calls made during the attacks and surveillance video taken at the warehouse that day.
The Crown said it hoped to have a sentencing hearing scheduled next week.
More to come…
-with files from Fletcher Kent, Emily Mertz, Julia Wong and The Canadian Press.