10/07/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 10/07/2016 01:12 EDT

Verdict expected in case of boy accused of pushing student to death under bus

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia judge is expected to hand down his verdict today in the case of a 15-year-old boy accused of pushing a fellow high school student to his death under the wheels of a school bus.

The teen, who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, allegedly shoved Christopher Chafe down an embankment outside Sydney Academy in Cape Breton last winter.

Court heard the rear wheels of the bus rolled over Chafe's head and he was pronounced dead at the scene on Jan. 11, 2015.

The defence has argued that the accused was acting like a typical boy his age engaged in ordinary horseplay, rather than reckless or aggressive behaviour.

The defence also maintained it was reasonable to conclude the accused did not see the bus until it was too late.

But Crown prosecutor Mark Gouthro argued that evidence from the majority of witnesses showed they and the accused knew the yellow, 11-metre-long bus was coming.

Provincial court Judge Peter Ross had asked both sides to provide more case law dealing with criminal negligence causing death to help him determine how the age of the accused should factor into his decision.


The Canadian Press