Crown delivers opening statement in Fernwood murder trial



The crown at a second-degree murder trial in Victoria has told the jury they expect evidence will show the accused was arrested in a vehicle with a shotgun and the wallet of the victim.

Twenty-seven year-old Andrew Jonathan Belcourt is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 52-year old Leslie Hankel inside his Fernwood apartment in 2010.

The crown has told the jury they expect evidence will show Belcourt and another man, Samuel McGrath, kicked in Hankel's door under the belief they'd find marijuana inside. While inside, a shotgun was discharged twice, once into the ceiling and once into the side of Hankel's head, killing him almost instantly.

Belcourt and McGrath were arrested later that day in a vehicle. Among the items found in the trunk were a shotgun and two sets of running shoes, all of which carried the victim's DNA.

The crown says they expect two witnesses to testify that Belcourt told them he had to shoot the victim because his face cover fell off during the robbery. Belcourt has admitted to kicking in the door, and offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, an offer that was rejected by crown.



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