Castlegar RCMP Officer- Not Guilty of Manslaughter

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A Castlegar RCMP officer accused of manslaughter has been found not guilty.

After an eight week trial, a Nelson jury has also acquitted Jason Tait of dangerous driving in the January 2015 pursuit and shooting death of 39-year-old Waylon Eady near Castlegar.

Tait testified he fired four shots in fear of being run over by the vehicle operated by the suspected drunk driver.  

Tait's lawyer said his client’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, calling the act one of self-defence.

The Crown’s closing statement to the jury claimed Tait failed to conduct a proper risk assessment and deliberately engaged in a tactic where the use of force was reasonably foreseeable, suggesting his intention to conduct a high-risk stop maneuver had already crystalized in his mind.