Murder or self-defence? Closing arguments heard at Haverty trial
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 5:01PM EDT
Jury deliberations at the first-degree murder trial of Sean Haverty drew closer Wednesday as Haverty’s lawyer and the Crown presented their closing arguments.
Haverty is accused of killing Chris Schweitzer by shooting him inside a home on Tiffany Street in Guelph on June 18, 2015.
He does not deny shooting Schweitzer, but has argued that he was acting in self-defence.
His lawyer, Ari Goldkind, reminded jurors of that argument Wednesday – saying that his client is considered innocent of first-degree murder unless there is proof that he intended to kill Schweitzer, his neighbour.
Jurors have heard that Haverty was struck in the face with a glass bong after going over to Schweitzer’s house.
Hours earlier, Haverty was heard talking about wanting to kill somebody. His roommate testified that she assumed he was “shooting his mouth off” but wasn’t actually planning a murder.
A neighbour testified that about three hours before the shooting, Haverty approached her in her garage and asked her if “that big fat guy” ever bothered her.
Haverty also testified in his own defence, saying that he used poor judgement and maintaining that he killed Schweitzer in self de-fence.
He told jurors that Schweitzer had, in the past, shot him “deranged looks” and threatened to hurt him.
In his version of the events of June 18, Haverty said told Schweitzer to leave him alone, at which point Schweitzer attacked him with a bong and Haverty’s gun fired two shots – with Haverty unaware they had hit anyone.
Haverty was arrested on the night of the shooting, at a hospital in Fergus. Under cross-examination, he said that he went to the Fergus hospital instead of the closer Guelph General Hospital because he was worried about being shot by “trigger-happy” police officers.
Jurors have also heard that police officers found the gun used to kill Schweitzer the day after the shooting, hidden in a drainpipe in Haverty’s backyard. Haverty claimed this was because he purchased the gun illegally.
Haverty has admitted that he lied to police officers by downplaying the amount of alcohol he drank on the day of the shooting and by making up an incident in which he claimed to have seen Schweitzer coming home.