MUR­DER CHARGE DROPPED AGAINST MAN WHO SHOT INVADER

NEW­FOUND­LAND

National Post (Latest Edition) - - CANADA -

A mur­der charge was dropped

Thurs­day against a New­found­land man ac­cused of killing a home invader last year. Gil­bert Budgell was charged with sec­ond- de­gree mur­der in the shoot­ing of one of two masked men who en­tered his Bot­wood house in cen­tral New­found­land in April 2016. The man later died in hospi­tal. Crown pros­e­cu­tor Karen O’Reilly says the case — which in­cluded a sec­ond charge of un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm — couldn’t go ahead with­out sat­is­fac­tory be­lief it could be proved beyond a rea­son- able doubt. “When it gets to the judge’s stage, he has to be sat­is­fied beyond a rea­son­able doubt that it hap­pened, so he needs al­most near cer­tainty,” O’Reilly told re­porters Thurs­day. De­fence lawyer Bob Buck­ing­ham said the home in­vaders ar­rived wear­ing masks, and Budgell acted out of fear. “He wished things had turned out much more dif­fer­ently,” Buck­ing­ham told re­porters out­side court. “He’s ab­so­lutely and to­tally, com­pletely up­set and dis­traught as to what hap­pened to this per­son.”

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