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Second trial in Lytton stabbing death yields same guilty conviction

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February 26, 2015 - 4:26 PM

KAMLOOPS - A man who stabbed his friend 73 times wept as a jury convicted him of second-degree murder for a second time in a Kamloops, B.C., courtroom.

A jury on Wednesday found Cory Bird, 27, guilty of killing Albert Michell in 2008 after he claimed self-defence by arguing he woke up to discover his friend was sexually assaulting him.

Michell, 40, died in his apartment on the Siska Indian Band reserve south of Lytton.

A judge alone initially convicted Bird of second-degree murder at his first trial in 2011, but the B.C. appeal court overturned the decision and ordered a new trial.

Bird's lawyer, Sheldon Tate, portrayed the victim as a sexual predator who had previously assaulted another man.

But Crown prosecutor Bernie Caffaro described Bird's attack on Michell as brutal, saying that Bird was almost unscathed and that showed the violence was deliberate.

"Mr. Michell's body is important," Caffaro said. "It tells you a story, a story of frenzied, brutal violence — an attack with such intensity and speed (Bird) barely had any defensive wounds."

Bird’s adoptive parents and sister attended part of the trial.

"We were hoping for manslaughter," said his mother, Fennalies Riemersma, naming a lesser offence.

She said Bird hopes to attend college or university when he is eventually released on parole.

The jury made no sentencing recommendation. Lawyers will argue Bird's new sentence at a hearing later this year.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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