POLITICS

Fisherman's fate in hands of jury at murder trial in Nova Scotia

11/28/2014 09:18 EST | Updated 01/28/2015 05:59 EST
PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. - A jury will continue deliberations Saturday in the case of a Cape Breton fisherman who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of a man at sea.

Joseph James Landry of Little Anse is being tried before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Port Hawkesbury in the death last year of Philip Boudreau.

The 43-year-old fisherman's body hasn't been found but the Crown has alleged Boudreau's death was the result of a sustained attack by a lobster fishing crew that included Landry — one of four people charged in the case.

Crown prosecutor Steve Drake has told the court that the Twin Maggies rammed Boudreau's boat three times at the mouth of Petit de Grat harbour on June 1, 2013.

He alleged the 67-year-old Landry fired four shots from a rifle, one of which it Boudreau in the leg.

Drake said Boudreau's boat overturned after it was rammed the third time before he was hooked with a fishing gaff and dragged out to sea.

The Crown's case included an account given by Craig Landry, a crew member on Twin Maggies at the time of the incident.

Craig Landry, who is a third cousin of Joseph James Landry, is facing a charge of accessory after the fact and has yet to stand trial.

Defence counsel Luke Craggs has argued Craig Landry's testimony was a fabrication and that it shouldn't be relied on because the crew member was attempting to avoid a more serious charge of second-degree murder.

Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy told the jury Friday that the charge Craig Landry faces was changed from second-degree murder after he gave a second statement to police describing how Boudreau was gaffed, dragged out to sea and tied to an anchor.

"You will assess his credibility," Kennedy said. "Luke Craggs suggests his evidence is a fabrication. What do you think? Was it a fabrication or does he give the detailed evidence that a truth-teller would give?"

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect spelling for the first name of Philip Boudreau.