Murder trial begins anew
BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL
News Staff The re-trial of a Lancaster man whose 2009 second-degree murder conviction was overturned in 2013 began on January 26 in Cornwall.
Sébastien Bouchard, 39, had been found guilty in the death of Nadeau’s Point resident Bob Nicholson, 47, in the early morning hours of Dec. 5, 2005.
He was consequently sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.
However, the Ontario Court of Appeal quashed Mr. Bouchard’s conviction in a 2-1 split decision on Dec. 31, 2013.
Justices David H. Doherty and Peter Lauwers overturned the decision and ordered a new trial after ruling that the trial judge, Justice Robert Pelletier, misdirected the jury regarding issues of mens rea – whether the defendant had guilty knowledge or intent to commit a crime – and about Mr. Bouchard’s defence of provocation.
In mid-October 2014, the Crown unsuccessfully appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, ensuring the new trial.
A Cornwall court official told The News this past November that the Bouchard proceedings were scheduled to last seven weeks, concluding around March 7.
A seven-man, five-woman jury for the re-trial was selected on January 25 in Cornwall.