Sean Haverty found guilty of manslaughter
Published Friday, April 21, 2017 7:45PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, April 22, 2017 11:29AM EDT
Sean Haverty never meant to kill Chris Schweitzer when he showed up at Schweitzer’s house with a gun, jurors have concluded.
Haverty had been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the June 18, 2015 death of Schweitzer.
The two neighbours had been involved in a confrontation at Schweitzer’s home on Tiffany Street in Guelph.
Haverty testified that Schweitzer had attacked him with a glass bong, after which his gun fired twice – and that he left the area without knowing if his shots had hit anybody.
After only a few hours of deliberations, jurors decided to convict Haverty of manslaughter – the least serious of the three conviction options they had been given. They could have also chosen not to find him guilty of any offence.
A conviction on first-degree murder would have meant that jurors believed Haverty killed Schweitzer deliberately, and planned the killing out in advance.
A second-degree murder conviction would have meant that the killing was intentional, but done in the spur of the moment.
By convicting Haverty of manslaughter, jurors signaled that they believe Haverty did not intent to kill Schweitzer.
For his part, Haverty maintained that the shooting was an act of self-defence and that Schweitzer had threatened to hurt him in the past.
A manslaughter involving a firearm carries with it a minimum sentence of four years in prison and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.