It took jurors less than two days of deliberation to decide on a not-guilty verdict for a Kamloops man charged with manslaughter in connection with a deadly 2016 altercation outside a North Shore bar.
The seven-woman, five-man B.C. Supreme Court jury returned with its verdict on Wednesday afternoon, acquitting 30-year-old James David Bond, who stood trial on one count of manslaughter in relation to the Dec. 30, 2016, death of Sean Dunn, 42.
“I don’t have much to say,” Bond said outside court, hugging friends and family who supported him during his seven-day trial. “It’s a tragic situation. I’m thankful it’s over. I’m sorry for the family. They have to live with this forever and I do, too.”
Dunn was found dead on a sidewalk along Wood Street near Tranquille Road after being punched multiple times in the head by Bond. He and Bond were among a group of people drinking at The Duchess bar in the hours leading up to Dunn’s death.
Prosecutors described Bond as a jealous assailant who attacked a man flirting with his girlfriend, but a number of witnesses described Dunn harassing the woman throughout the night. Bond admitted punching Dunn, but said he did so to defend his girlfriend from Dunn’s unwanted advances.
Jurors went into their deliberations on Tuesday without knowledge of an incident that took place three days before Dunn was killed, when police were called to the home Bond shared with his girlfriend.
Prosecutors wanted to question Bond about the incident, in which he is alleged to have become involved in a physical altercation after finding his girlfriend in bed with another man.
Crown prosecutor Frank Caputo said he intended to cross-examine Bond on the police report. The incident could have been seen by jurors to add credibility to the Crown’s theory that Bond could become violently jealous.
Defence lawyer Don Campbell argued allowing the jury to consider the evidence would be prejudicial.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan sided with Campbell, calling his argument “well-founded.”
More than a dozen of Dunn’s family and friends filled three rows of the courtroom gallery for each day of Bond’s trial. They appeared emotional following the verdict and declined comment when asked.