A little more than eight weeks after Marissa Shephard’s trial for first degree murder and arson with disregard for human life began, the judge is delivering his final instructions to the jury.
The Crown introduced more than 60 pieces of physical evidence, and played three statements from Devin Morningstar for the jury after he refused to testify against Shephard three times.
Defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux described Morningstar as an ‘unsavoury witness’, adding his refusal to testify made it unfair for his client as he was unable to challenge Morningstar’s statements.
Lemieux also had Shephard take the stand in her own defence, but the Crown, in their closing arguments, called her testimony self-serving and inconsistent.
Judge Zoël Dionne is expected to take all day to instruct the jury, beginning at 11 o’clock.
Once the instructions are complete, the jury will be sequestered, and can begin deliberating, however, depending on the lateness of the hour, deliberations may start fresh Tuesday morning instead of immediately after the instructions from Judge Dionne.
There are 14 jurors at this time, but two will be removed from consideration before deliberations begin, and so Shephard’s fate will be decided by 12 jurors overall.
If found guilty, Shephard could face a sentence of life imprisonment.