Murder verdict expected Aug. 1 in Courtenay courtroom

The teen accused of murdering James Denton in Courtenay will know his fate Wednesday morning.

The verdict and sentencing arguments — if required — will be heard in a Courtenay Supreme Court courtroom for the 17-year-old accused, charged with second-degree murder, whose trial concluded in June.

Court heard throughout the trial that Denton, 19, was stabbed twice — once in the left armpit and once in the left lower back — near the entrance to G.P. Vanier Secondary School following the conclusion last July of a day-long music festival at the nearby Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.

The accused, who was 16 at the time of the incident, cannot be named because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

If Justice R.B.T. Goepel delivers a guilty plea, Crown prosecutor Gordon Baines has indicated he will seek an adult sentence for the youth.

Defence lawyer Michael Mulligan said there are three possible verdicts that the judge can find.

"If the the judge finds that the Crown has not disproven self-defence and that is the Crown's burden to disprove that," he noted in June. "If the judge found that self-defence was applicable, that is a complete defence and he would be acquitted all together. Another possible verdict would be if the judge found that the Crown had not proven all of the elements of murder, including that subjective foresight of death, but that self-defence wasn't applicable, another possible verdict could be guilty of manslaughter."

Visit for updates Wednesday and Friday's Record newspaper for more.

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