The 6th Street site of the altercation in Courtenay in 2017. File photo

Island manslaughter suspect found not guilty in Supreme Court

Court accepts accused’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident in Courtenay

A man charged in connection with the death at a 6th Street house in Courtenay in 2017 was acquitted in Supreme Court Tuesday.

Justice David Masuhara found Jonathan Billy not guilty in Nanaimo Supreme Court on Aug. 20, following a trial that started in Courtenay in June but was moved to Nanaimo because of scheduling issues around a witness delay. Billy was originally charged with second-degree murder in July 2017 in connection with the incident that took place in the early hours of June 30, 2017.

RELATED STORY: Manslaughter trial begins for man accused of Courtenay killing

Following the decision, Jim Heller, Billy’s lawyer, described his client, now 39, as a man with a difficult past, who had reformed but still had some social contact with people involved with drugs.

“Now he’s got a family, he’s got a job, he’s got a couple kids, but he’s still friends with one guy in particular that lives in that house,” Heller told Black Press.

Billy was at the 6th Street house that night visiting the friend when police arrived, looking for information in connection with a missing girl. Heller notes he called witnesses to establish the character of the victim, Troy Matthew Emmons, who was stabbed. This included one witness the victim had attacked with a knife and who relayed the incident to police a couple of weeks prior to the altercation between Billy and Emmons.

Ultimately, the decision came down to mitigating factors, as Justice Masuhara accepted the argument of self-defence to explain the altercation between Billy and the victim.

“It was quite a case,” Heller said.

Black Press contacted Crown counsel John Boccabella the day after the judgment, but he was not available for comment.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nearly 20 individuals accessed LRCA’s cold weather shelter during 2020 snowstorm

Most individuals accessed the shelter for food, showers, laundry, and to warm up

Shoot the Moon pub passes public hearing stage

Rod Alsop and Jon Ludtke’s proposed pub is one step closer after a packed public hearing

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP visits Wet’suwet’en camps, calls for Coastal GasLink pipeline to be ‘revisited’

Paul Manly met with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the RCMP to talk about the ongoing situation

BREAKING: LSS evacuated after reports of ‘gas smell’

Students were evacuated to Frank Jameson Community Centre, but have since returned to class

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Chemainus River

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read