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Guilty verdict in Raynsford murder trial

Roy convicted of first-degree murder

After two days sequestered in a hotel, having no contact with their families and no TV, the six-man six-woman jury returned a guilty verdict in the death of Christopher Raynsford on Nov 10.

Sabastien Roy was convicted of first-degree murder and will be sentenced in the coming days. Justice Robert Maranger will decide how long Roy spends in prison; he’s already spent more than three years in jail in the time between his arrest and the trial.

On Nov 6, the defence had petitioned to the judge to remove first-degree murder as an option, a move that the judge ruled against. However the judge allowed the defence to argue provocation, a legal maneuver that could have reduced the conviction from first degree to manslaughter. The matter was put to the jury; defence lawyer Gary Barnes told the jury that Roy was provoked by Raynsford’s sexual advances, painting a picture of Raynsford as “predatory.” But the jury’s decision means that Roy was not legally provoked.