ALBERTA

Jason Steven Philip Appeal: Man Convicted Of Murdering His Aunt Has Case Dismissed By Alberta Appeal Court

01/28/2014 01:51 EST | Updated 03/30/2014 05:59 EDT
Christian Martínez Kempin via Getty Images
EDMONTON - The Alberta Court of Appeal has dismissed the case of a man who killed his aunt by stabbing her almost three dozen times.

Jason Steven Philip was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Mary Bertha Willard in her Edmonton home on June 26, 2004.

It was his second trial for the killing.

He had been found guilty earlier of first-degree murder, but he appealed and the conviction was set aside.

Philip's latest appeal was based on an argument that the trial judge did not give enough weight to his defence of “advanced intoxication.”

The Appeal Court ruled it was clear from the judge's decision that he had properly considered Philip's argument and had reason to dismiss it.

"On the basis of the number and nature of the stab wounds, the trial judge found that the Crown had proven beyond a reasonable doubt the appellant had the specific intent to cause the victim’s death, or to cause her bodily harm that he knew was likely to cause her death, and was reckless as to whether her death might ensue," the Appeal Court wrote in its decision released Tuesday.

"We see no palpable or overriding error in that finding either."

Willard, who was 58, was stabbed 30 times on the back of her head, in the neck and in the chest. Her body was hidden under a piece of foam behind the furnace in her basement.

The stabbing took place in the morning following an all-night drinking session involving Philip, Willard and others.

Philip had come to Edmonton from British Columbia and was staying with Willard while she helped him find work.

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