Chad Alphonse. —Image: Facebook

Jury finds Chad Alphonse guilty of manslaughter in murder trial

Kelowna jury delivers its verdict a day after starting its deliberations.

Chad Alponse was convicted of manslaughter for the 2016 death of his friend Friday morning, but it may be months until he learns whether he’ll spend time behind bars.

His defence lawyer, Terry LaLiberté requested a Gladue report be completed for Alphonse, and that takes up to eight weeks. Once done, a sentencing date will be scheduled.

That’s when LaLiberté may argue for the judge to hand down a conditional sentence, meaning no prison time.

“Locking another native person up in circumstances up would be a tragedy,” said LaLiberté. “Another native guy going to jail… there are far too many already there.”

According to Statistics Canada’s most recent figures, Aboriginal adults in federal correctional services accounted for 28 per cent of admissions to custody and 26 per cent to community supervision.

The death of Waylon Jackson March 11 2016 is also a “tragedy,” said LaLiberté, but it was never murder.

“(Alphonse) is a very nice young fellow and this is a shock to his system,” said LaLiberté. “It was of the sudden. It was a friend of his and there was too much alcohol … thank God there weren’t guns around. There was a couple of knives lying around and they got used. (It was) a tragedy of alcohol.”

Since that time Alphonse has been an active participant of Vision Quest, a program created by the RCMP that provides education regarding the disease of addiction and the accompanying lifestyle.

Its aim is to help its clients to gain insight and direction towards individual change and a successful reintegration back into society, and LaLiberté said Alphonse is a “star” in the program.

ORIGINAL 10 A.M.

Chad Alphonse has been found guilty of manslaughter in the killing of his friend two years ago.

A Kelowna jury comprised of eight women and four men delivered the verdict Friday morning. He was found not guilty of the more serious charge of second-degree murder in the death of Waylon Jackson.

Alphonse will remain on bail until sentencing at a later date and in the meantime a pre-sentencing report has been asked for. That report could take six to eight weeks. Sentencing will be scheduled on April 9.

Alphonse was one among a group of four guests at Jackson’s house March 11, 2016 preparing for a babyshower for Jackson’s newborn daughter.

READ MORE: ‘STOP,’ WIFE OF SLAIN MAN CALLED OUT

In court the jury heard little in the way of preparation was done that night other that drinking and smoking pot, so in the early evening Jackson went upstairs with his common-law wife, Naomi Foureyes, to attend to their newborn daughter and the party came to an end.

Downstairs Alphonse and his girlfriend—who is also Naomi’s sister—got into an argument about how they were getting home.

The options were to call one of their grandparents or take the bus and the conversation got heated.

That’s when the situation took a fatal turn.

Defence lawyer Terry LaLiberté told jurors in closing submissions that Jackson went down the stairs “mad as a hatter” that Alphonse and his girlfriend were causing a disturbance.

“He wants them out of there,” said LaLiberté.

That anger led to a fight, he told jurors, and Jackson had Alphonse down and was pummelling him in a corner when Naomi Foureyes went down the stairs to see what was happening.

From the entry to the kitchen, she watched as Jackson then started hitting Alphonse over the head with a steel chair.

That’s when Foureyes yelled out for the fighting to stop.

“‘Waylon stop it, you’re going to kill him,’” is what she said, LaLiberté reminded jurors, referring to testimony rendered in the trial.

“What does that put in a person’s mind?”

A mind, he added, that was addled by a night of heavy boozing. Jackson dropped the chair and started to walk away.

Foureyes testified that he was looking at her as though he was going to say something.

LaLiberté told jurors that it was more likely that he was going toward his large machete shaped knife that was on the kitchen counter. He had shown it to “the boys” earlier in the night.

Alphonse told police that he hadn’t seen the knife since the previous Christmas, but LaLiberté said that the knife had a presence and it’s unlikely that he didn’t know it was there or the threat it posed.

That’s when he got up and fatally stabbed Jackson.

While LaLiberté presented the act as a reflex of survival, Crown counsel David Grabavac said Alphonse made a decision to cause bodily harm that he knew had the potential to kill.

“He stabbed Jackson because he was angry—he was angry because he lost the fight, and he was stabbing in retaliation,” said Grabavac.

He said that Jackson had his back turned to Alphonse, and pointed out that Foureyes had called her partner away from the confrontation.

As Jackson walked away, toward his wife and baby and with his back toward Alphonse, he was stabbed three times. Once creating an S-shape wound on his back, the next time under the armpit and the third time, through his lung and through the left ventricle of his heart.

That third strike with the knife was fatal and Jackson fell to the ground as fast as he likely turned around to face his assailant.

“Alphonse’s actions were deliberate and purposeful,” Grabavac said.

The jury began deliberations Thursday.

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