OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has overturned an appeal court ruling and restored the manslaughter conviction of a Toronto man.
Nahoor Araya was charged with second degree murder over a shooting in a Toronto park in 2008 and was convicted of manslaughter.
The Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial, finding fault with the jury instructions.
The problem involved certain photographs of Araya taken a few days after the shooting and admitted at trial.
The Supreme Court, in a 5-0 decision, ruled there was no reason to reject the trial judge’s finding that the photographs were admissible and the jury instructions were adequate.
The justices sent the case back to the appeal court for consideration of a sentencing appeal.
Justice Marshall Rothstein, writing for the court, found that the trial judge’s instructions were appropriate.
"While not perfectly phrased, the totality of the instructions, viewed in the context of the case as a whole, adequately guarded against the possibility that the jurors might use the photographs as the basis for impermissible reasoning," he wrote.
After his 2011 trial, Araya was sentenced to eight years, less time for pre-trial custody.