Fighting to WIN

February 2020

Acquittal quashed over jury instructions – Homeowner who gunned down car thief to be tried anew

A Hamilton-area homeowner who gunned down a would-be car thief seconds after a driveway confrontation will have to stand trial again on second-degree murder, Ontario’s top court ruled on Wednesday.

In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal found the trial judge was wrong in instructing the jury that acquitted Peter Khill in June 2018. Khill had argued he was acting in self-defence when he fatally shot John Styres in 2016.

The case initially took on racism overtones because Styres was Indigenous, although there was no evidence that Khill was aware of that when he opened fire.

Khill also faces an ongoing civil lawsuit in which Styres’ relatives are seeking more than $2 million in damages. Their lawyer, Rob Hooper, said on Wednesday that Khill has refused to be examined until the criminal case is resolved but this result is what they had hoped for.

“We will continue to fight this injustice and fight for fair trials for Indigenous people in Canada,” Hooper said.

Excerpt from City News

Our Team of Experts

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Kimberley A. Jossul, B.Sc. (Hons), LL.B.

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Robert Hooper, B.A., LL.B.

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