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Jury deliberations begin at Kitchener murder trial

After five weeks of trial, Ager Hasan’s fate is now in the hands of the jury.

Hasan is charged with second-degree murder in the 2017 death of his ex-girlfriend Melinda Vasilije.

On Wednesday morning, the judge charged the jury with instructions before they began deliberating just after 12 p.m.

Hasan has admitted to killing Vasilije on April 28, 2017, but says she attacked him first, and after stabbing her twice, he blacked out.

Vasilije was stabbed a total of 47 times.

The question now comes down to provocation and Hasan’s mental state.

Justice Gerald Taylor says if the jury believes Vasilije provoked Hasan or Hasan was not in a state of mind to commit murder, then they must find him not guilty of second-degree murder.

The Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hasan was not provoked and did not lose control.

Hasan’s failure to turn himself in is irrelevant to the case and must not be part of the jury’s decision, the judge says.

As far as what qualifies as provocation, Taylor says there are four criteria that must be met:

  1. Did Vasilije commit a wrongful act? If the jury believes she attacked Hasan with a knife, that constitutes a wrongful act
  2. Would the wrongful act deprive a person of self-control? Would an ordinary person have lost power of self-control when faced with the wrongful act?
  3. Was the wrongful act sudden? If so, Ager Hasan would not have expected it.
  4. Did Ager Hasan act suddenly? Did he act immediately in the heat of passion in response to the wrongful act?

If the jury does not believe any one of these four criteria are not met, they can find Hasan guilty of second-degree murder.

Taylor told the jury to find Hasan guilty of second-degreee murder the crown must prove each of these essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

That Hasan caused the death of Vasilije – a fact that is not in doubt and was in an agreed statement of fact.

That Hasan caused the death of Vasilije unlawfully - a fact that no one has contested in this trial.

That Hasan had a state of mind required for murder, which Hasan testified he blacked out and only remembers stabbing Vasilije twice – which Taylor says being angry is not enough, they need to believe Hasan truly blacked out.

Lasty, that Hasan was not provoked - a fact the defence leaned heavily on in the trial saying Hasan had defence wounds on his hands.

If the jury believes Hasan blacked out they have been instructed to find a verdict of manslaughter.

If they do not believe he blacked out the jury has another option, they then have to decide if Hasan was provoked

Melinda Vasilije appears in an undated photo. (Submitted)

In their closing arguments Tuesday, the Crown and the defence laid out very different closing arguments.

The defence argued on the night Hasan killed Vasilije, the couple got back together, but after he confessed to cheating on her during their relationship Vasilije attacked Hasan with a knife, then he blacked out.

Meanwhile, the Crown told the jury there was no reconciliation, there was no confession and that Vasilije never attacked Hasan. Crown lawyers argued evidence shows Hasan went to Vasilije’s apartment that night motivated by jealously and obsession and he refused to accept that their relationship had ended. Top Stories

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