The lawyer defending a man accused of the attempted murder of a Victoria police officer last year told jury members Friday there is not enough evidence to convict his client of the charge, and that they must convict him on a lesser offence.
“You are going to have no problems realizing or understanding or figuring it out that Mr. Séguin did something wrong,” defence lawyer Jordan Watt said in B.C. Supreme Court during his closing arguments.
“A reasonable doubt clearly exists” as to whether Guy Hervé Séguin, 57, intended to kill Victoria patrol officer Const. Lane Douglas-Hunt, then 24, the morning of Jan. 17, 2011, Watt said.
He told the jury that possible lesser charges include assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and aggravated assault.
Douglas-Hunt had been investigating a shoplifting complaint at a 7-Eleven convenience store at 816 Douglas St. She was leaving the store when she held the door open for the accused.
Without warning, she said, Séguin swung a knife toward her, at least twice. The officer, who has since returned to her beat, said she suffered puncture wounds to her neck and knife wounds to her hands.
The four-woman, eight-man jury heard closing arguments from Crown counsel Steve Fudge and Watt on Friday morning.
“Some things must be patently obvious to you,” Fudge said during his closing statement. Douglas-Hunt did a “perfectly obvious thing” when she held open the door for Séguin, before she was “dragged … into the fight of her life.”
The defendant lied in his statement to police, Fudge said, adding that at times there was a ring of truth, such as when Séguin said, “I didn’t kill him … I wanted to kill him. I saw a cop outside and I had enough. The badge deserves to die after what’s been done to me.”
But all doubt about Séguin’s intent to kill is removed by witnesses who said they heard Séguin tell the officer, “I’m going to kill you, b**ch” or “I’m going to kill you,” said Fudge. “Can it be that these three people colluded together to make these (statements) up?”
In closing, the Crown lawyer said there is no question as to the identity of the accused, that Douglas-Hunt suffered multiple knife wounds and that Séguin possessed a knife.
Was there any point when he intended to cause Douglas-Hunt’s death? Fudge asked. “Yes, absolutely he did.”
Watt did not present evidence, nor did his client take the stand. But during his closing statements, the lawyer said testimony supplied by Crown witnesses – including Douglas-Hunt – about a 30-second incident that happened 13 months ago is exaggerated, even reconstructed to better fit the charge against Séguin.
Watt also questioned the emotion the officer displayed while testifying.
“This was an exaggeration, in my submission, designed to attain sympathy and bolster her credibility,” he said.
“Frailties” appeared in the various recollections – how or if Séguin held a knife, the number of punches or whether Douglas-Hunt threw any at all at the accused, whether Séguin threatened to kill the officer – even Séguin’s height and weight, Watt said.
“These are just a few examples of how numerous people can observe the identical situation and each and every one of these people perceive it differently,” he said. “You can’t be sure what happened. This must be a doubt in your mind about Mr. Seguin’s specific intent.”
If Séguin had intended to kill, Watt said, why did his client initially grab Douglas-Hunt with two hands, why did he throw the knife away, why would he later be concerned about the officer’s well-being, and why, if he was guilty, did he not disclose that to his cellmate, an undercover officer?
Justice Keith Bracken told jurists he would provide them with instruction on Tuesday (March 6) before allowing them to deliberate on a verdict.
Follow the court proceedings this week at www.vicnews.com