Fate of Mark Twitchell in the hands of the jury
Published Tuesday, April 12, 2011 12:32PM MDT
A jury has begun deliberations in the Mark Twitchell murder trial.
The judge spent two hours giving the six-man, six-woman jury final instructions Tuesday morning.
Twitchell, an aspiring filmmaker, is accused of first degree murder in the killing of Johnny Altinger in October 2008.
During the trial, Twitchell admitted he killed Altinger, but said the deadly altercation was in self-defence when a publicity hoax for a movie went wrong.
Justice Terry Clackson told jurors that if they arrive at a guilty verdict, they must have determined that Twitchell caused the death of Altinger, that he did so by an unlawful act and that the killing was planned and deliberate.
Clackson told jurors they must acquit Twitchell if they believe his actions meet the legal requirements of self-defence.
He also cautioned them that believing Twitchell is a bad person is not enough to convict him.
For nearly a month, jurors have heard dramatic testimony and viewed dozens of exhibits, including a key piece of evidence, SK Confessions, a document found on Twitchell's laptop which the Crown referred to as a "diary". The Crown alleges that document is a description of Altinger's murder and an attack on a previous victim, Gilles Tetreault, who managed to escape.
The defence argued Altinger's death was the result of a publicity stunt gone wrong and that Twitchell had come up with an elaborate plan to lure men to a garage, pretend to kill them and then convince the men to write about their experiences online to create buzz for a slasher movie Twitchell had recently filmed.
The judge finished presenting his instructions to the jury over the noon hour on Tuesday with the fate of Mark Twitchell handed to the jury.
With files from CTV's David Ewasuk and The Canadian Press.
More details to follow.