Calgary jury begins deliberations in Douglas Garland murder trial
Published Wednesday, February 15, 2017 6:25AM MST Last Updated Wednesday, February 15, 2017 8:56PM MST
The judge presiding over the Douglas Garland triple murder trial spent Wednesday giving final instructions to the jury and told them that sympathy cannot play a role in their deliberations.
Garland, 57, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson Nathan O’Brien.
The jury, made up of 13 men and women, have heard from nearly 50 witnesses over the last four weeks and Justice David Gates took several hours to explain their responsibilities.
"Sympathy must have no place in your deliberations," he said. "The presumption of innocence lasts throughout the trial."
"Mr. Garland doesn't have to prove anything," said Gates. "That's up to the Crown and that doesn't shift."
Gates told the jury to thoroughly examine the testimony of each witness and determine if they were credible, if they had an interest in the case, if they had accurate observations and if they had an accurate recollection of events.
He told them that the instructions were to help them make a decision and to ignore anything they might have heard outside of the courtroom.
Garland has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder but Justice Gates told jurors that Garland could still be found guilty of the lesser charges of second-degree murder or manslaughter.
The jury was told that they must consider each count separately and that even though no bodies were ever found, they could conclude that the three individuals were dead.
Jurors will have 89 exhibits to review and the judge spent part of his address reminding them of their importance.
The Crown says that Garland took Alvin, Kathy and Nathan from their Parkhill home to his parent's property near Airdrie where he killed them.
The defence called the Crown’s case circumstantial and said there was no DNA linking Garland to the Liknes home.
The jury began deliberating the case on Wednesday evening. As of 9:00 p.m., the members of the jury retired to their hotel rooms for the evening.
Deliberations will resume Thursday at 9:00 a.m.
@CTVInaSidhu and @CTVJKanygin are covering the trial for CTV Calgary.