Jury hears closing submissions in RCMP officer trial, Nelson
RCMP Constable Jason Tait's manslaughter trial regarding the 2015 shooting death of Waylon Edey continues this week in Nelson’s Capitol Theatre with closing submissions going to the jury yesterday, Thursday November 5th.
Tait is charged with manslaughter and the jury is tasked with determining, beyond reasonable doubt, whether or not criminal negligence or an unlawful act caused the death of Waylon Edey.
There is also the lesser and included offence of dangerous driving.
Defence Lawyer Butcher took the podium Thursday morning suggesting Tait's military experience and shooting skills set him apart from an ordinary officer in the same situation who may have been hit by the oncoming pick-up truck instead, calling the act one of self-defence.
Crown Lawyer McKinley was up to bat Thursday afternoon and says the evidence shows Tait failed to conduct a proper risk assessment and deliberately engaged in a tactic where use of force was reasonably foreseeable, suggesting his intention to conduct a high-risk stop maneuver had already crystalized in his mind.
Butcher also called the IIO's prime investigator for the incident an awful witness, an even worse investigator and more, suggesting the organization came up with a theory linking driving negligence with Tait’s positioning and the aftermath.
McKinley’s response states there is no evidence suggesting the IIO was trying to build a case against Tait as they were just conducting an investigation, adding there is nothing wrong with investigators obtaining a second expert report if questions were left unanswered.
Madame Justice Catherine Murray is set to charge the jury today, November 6th.