UPDATE: Steven Neville found guilty of second degree murder, attempted murder

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Steven Neville

Steven Neville has been found guilty of second-degree murder and attempted murder by a Newfoundland Supreme Court jury this afternoon.

Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with a minimum of 10 years served before parole eligibility. However, the jury can recommend the number of years before parole eligibility be increased.

After the verdict was announced, Neville remained calm and looked back at his parents who were sitting in the courtroom.

One juror was seen crying following the verdict, as was defence lawyer Rosellen Sullivan, and members of the families of murder victim Doug Flynn and attempted murder victim Ryan Dwyer.

Courtroom No. 4 at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s was crowded for the announcement of the verdict.

The jury — which was reduced to 11 members after one jury couldn't continue for personal reasons — had left the courtroom at 5 p.m. Wednesday to begin deliberations and came back to the court three times to ask the judge legal questions, before returning with the verdict this afternoon.

Jurors sat through seven weeks of testimony during the trial, which began in October 2012 and saw more than two dozen witnesses take the stand.

Neville was tried on charges of first-degree murder in the death of Doug Flynn and the attempted murder of Ryan Dwyer, which stem from a double stabbing that happened in Paradise on Oct. 9, 2010.

Neville was found guilty of the included offence of second degree murder in the stabbing death of Doug Flynn and attempted murder of Ryan Dwyer.

 

 

 

 •••

(Earlier story)

The jury has reached a verdict in the murder case of Steven Neville, the court has been informed.

The verdict will be heard when court resumes shortly at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John's.

Neville faces charges of first-degree murder in the death of Doug Flynn and the attempted murder of Ryan Dwyer, which stem from a double stabbing that happened in Paradise on Oct. 9, 2010.

Jurors sat through seven weeks of testimony during the trial, which began in October 2012 and saw more than two dozen witnesses take the stand.

The jury left the courtroom at 5 p.m. Wednesday to begin deliberations and came back to the court three times to ask the judge legal questions.

The Telegram website will have the details as soon as they become available.

•••

(Earlier story)

 

Jury asks judge for clarity

Members return three times to ask for further explanation of murder law

 

 

The first full day of deliberations saw jurors in the murder case of Steven Neville come back three times to ask the judge legal questions.

 

Both times, the inquiries centered on clarification about what constitutes first-degree murder.

 

Neville faces charges of first-degree murder in the death of Doug Flynn and the attempted murder of Ryan Dwyer, which stem from a double stabbing that happened in Paradise on Oct. 9, 2010.

 

Jurors sat through seven weeks of testimony during the trial, which began in October 2012 and saw more than two dozen witnesses take the stand.

 

The jury left the courtroom at 5 p.m. Wednesday to begin deliberations.

 

At around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, the seven women and four men returned to Courtroom No. 4 at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John's to ask Justice Carl Thompson to shed some light on the specifics of first-degree murder.

 

Since first-degree murder requires an element of planning and the Crown has to prove it was deliberate, jurors wondered if there could be other factors.

 

They asked, in order for it to constitute first-degree murder, does it only have to have been proven that Neville planned to kill the men and that his actions were deliberate.

 

Thompson explained to them that it can also constitute first-degree murder if Neville "caused Flynn's death with bodily harm that was so serious and dangerous that he knew it would likely cause death."

 

It took less than 10 minutes and they returned to the jury room.

 

Four-and-a-half hours later, they were back to ask the judge the definition of deliberate - which is needed to conclude it was first-degree murder - and provocation - which is an element included in the charge of manslaughter.

 

To explain provocation, Thompson referred to the Criminal Code of Canada, which states it to be a wrongful act or insult that is enough to cause someone to lose the power of self control, or if the accused acted in the heat of passion.

 

Deliberate, he explained, is "slow to decide," "not impulsive," "not sudden" and "considerate."

 

Minutes later, the jury returned to resume their discussions.

 

The jury's third question came just an hour later.

 

However, the judge did not read it aloud in court and chose not to give a response.

 

Instead, he apologized to jurors and told the group to refer to the instructions he had already given them on the subject.

 

They then retired for the day at around 6 p.m.

 

During the trial, Neville's lawyers - Peter Ralph and Rosellen Sullivan - argued that Neville acted in self-defence against Flynn and Dwyer, who, they say, had been terrorizing Neville for months.

 

They said the men had been hunting him like prey.

 

Crown prosecutors Robin Fowler and Jason House said it was Neville who was the aggressor. They contended that Neville knew exactly what he was doing and had planned to kill the men.

 

••••

 

(Thursday story)

 

The jury is out in Neville case

Jurors must review more than seven weeks of testimony from dozens of witnesses

 

Rosie Gillingham

 

The fate of a Paradise man who stabbed two men, killing one of them, is now in the hands of seven women and four men.

 

The jury in the murder trial of Steven Michael Neville began deliberations at around 5 p.m. Wednesday following a full day of instruction from Justice Carl Thompson at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John's.

 

As in all trials, the judge gave a lengthy explanation of the charges to jurors and directed them in what they should and shouldn't consider when coming to a decision on whether or not Neville is guilty.

 

"There's no magic formula on how much of the testimony you should rely on," he said.

 

Neville is charged with stabbing Doug Flynn and Ryan Dwyer on Oct. 9, 2010, on Carlisle Drive in Paradise.

 

Dwyer suffered knife wounds to his sides, arms and back, but recovered. Flynn died from knife wounds to the temple and chest.

 

Neville faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

 

His lawyers - Peter Ralph and Rosellen Sullivan - argued that Neville acted in self-defence against Flynn and Dwyer, who, they say, had been terrorizing Neville for months.

 

They said the men had been hunting him like prey.

 

Crown prosecutors Robin Fowler and Jason House disputed that, saying Neville was the aggressor. They contended that Neville knew exactly what he was doing and had planned to kill the men.

 

Whether Neville did or not, Thompson made one thing clear to jurors - "Steven Neville does not have to prove anything."

 

The judge stressed to them that Neville is presumed innocent and that it was up to the Crown to prove Neville didn't act in self defence.

 

"Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt," Thompson said. "Even if you believe he's probably guilty or likely guilty, that is not sufficient (to convict)."

 

For a defence of self defence, the judge said the jury must consider whether or not Neville felt he had no other choice but to do what he did in order to preserve his own life.

 

He said the jury must also ask whether Neville used more force than necessary to protect himself. However, Thompson added that in certain situations, it's difficult for the person to measure the amount of force necessary. Therefore, they must consider Neville's perception of the situation at the time.

 

The jury will also have the option of finding Neville guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder or manslaughter.

 

The judge explained that with first-degree murder, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that what Neville did was planned and deliberate - an element not needed for second-degree murder.

 

For manslaughter, the judge said, the jury must decide whether or not Neville was provoked or acted in the heat of passion.

 

"When Steven Neville killed Doug Flynn, did he lose the power of self control?" Thompson said, in pointing the factors to be considered.

 

The attempted murder charge could also be reduced to aggravated assault or assault. The jury must decide whether Neville meant to kill Dwyer.

 

In making their decision, the jury will have the unenviable task of reviewing seven weeks of testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, as well as written and videotaped police statements, several photos and thousands of text messages, which became pivotal in the case.

 

The jury - which was reduced to 11 members early last week, when one man couldn't continue for personal reasons - retired at around 6 p.m. for the night Friday at their hotel to be sequestered.

 

Organizations: Newfoundland Supreme Court

Geographic location: St. John's, Paradise

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • not fair
    February 04, 2013 - 10:24

    This was an unfair verdict, not only was it proven that he was bullied by those boys, but they also bullied his mother, and posted things about his mother, in any case, mostly anyone would slap and lose their mind, no doubt, what he did was wrong and he should pay for what he did but throughout this whole thing, anyone would know that this young man was not a cold blooded murderer. Mostly anyone who was being bullied and tormented for months would eventually slap, and that he slapped when they started with his mother means he loves his mother which means hes not a monster, he does have a heart, i think manslaughter would of been a more fair verdict, cause in my opinion, they were all equally wrong in this, only thing neville is the one has to pay the consequnces. It's just a shame that one young man is dead and another 2 lives are ruined over drugs and money. what a shame!!

  • Mother
    February 03, 2013 - 20:25

    Drugs and alcohol are poison. No good ever comes of abusing either. More lives ruined...and they won't be the last. Just say NO NO NO to drugs!

  • original townie
    February 02, 2013 - 06:38

    @no connection....ppl. like you are the reason our "injustice" system is so anti victim. Hopefully the courts will give him twenty (not ten) years before the possibility of parole. Can't help but wonder if your family member was murdered (as in this case) would you be so forgiving and understanding? You should consider a career as a defence lawyer....then you could buddy up and cry with Rossellen Sullivan. How pathetic. BTW, well said Jas. Another dirtbag off our streets.

  • Kallie
    February 01, 2013 - 21:27

    The jury got it wrong, probably because they didn't want to spend the weekend sequestered. Flynn and Dwyer are prime examples of bullies, and are both equally to blame as Neville in this whole ordeal. It's unfortunate that all families have lost in this, but I do not agree that it warrants Neville spending a minimum of 10 years in prison. Appeal for sure.

    • mike
      March 13, 2013 - 14:46

      You are an idiot Probably one of Nevilles thug buddies hanging out in the court room!

  • Good riddance
    February 01, 2013 - 20:21

    another scumbag off the streets...if they keep killing each other and getting locked up for it this city may be a safer place for the decent people living here!

  • Not a friend
    February 01, 2013 - 17:06

    This verdict was so wrong. Anyone with the intent to kill doesn't stab someone in the head. That kind of wound is indicative of a messy struggle. Second degree murder means that it must have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to kill. Not only was that not proven here, but I believe the testimony DISPROVED that very fact. Manslaughter would have been a much more appropriate verdict. And now this kid will lose at least 10 years of his life and perhaps even come out a truly hardened criminal. So much for justice. And a miscarriage of justice does not bring the victim back. It just creates two tragedies.

  • Connection
    February 01, 2013 - 15:02

    For No Connection... how is it self defense when you have a knife and stab someone in the back! I have been drove out of my mind by some people but would never stab someone because of it! Justice was served but he had the intentions to do serious harm to these two men so therefore he should have gotten convicted of 1st Degree!

  • San Quinten
    February 01, 2013 - 14:44

    Welcome to the Big House, Gangsta! We've been expecting you; let's see how tough you really are.

  • Jas
    February 01, 2013 - 14:26

    Another dirtbag off the streets

  • Leah
    February 01, 2013 - 14:24

    One person dead, and two other lives ruined, all for the sake of drugs and money. In the long run, is it really worth it? Hundreds of thousands of lives are wasted, ruined, injured, and lost, as well as innocent people affected and heartbroken, because of drugs and alcohol. Now Neville has to pay the consequences. Too bad not enough drug dealers are not caught because as long as they are "free", lives will continue to be destroyed.

  • no connection
    February 01, 2013 - 13:22

    Very unfortunate end to friendships gone wrong over drugs. My thoughts are the jury got it wrong, based on the information presented through the media I would have had great difficulty convicting Neville of manslaughter for the death of Flynn, as for Dwyer it was swlf defence. This young fellow was drove out of his mind by Dwyer and Flynn, much like a case of bullying. He could have internalized it all and maybe ended up killing himself or lashed out, which he did. Was he right in what he did, no, but the two victims played a greater role in setting up the scenario that resulted in one death and another life lost to the prison system. APPEAL if you can find grounds.

    • Susan
      February 01, 2013 - 13:50

      GUILTY!!!!! I don't care if they tormented each other for years, that's what KIDS do! But once you cross the line, you WILL take the blame. Self defense, you have to be kidding, here's a hint: DON'T GET OUT OF THE CAR!

  • Steve
    February 01, 2013 - 12:36

    After reading the testimony from this trial on the media, I'm willing to bet my last dollar that he'll be together with all his friends soon enough (inside or outside, the Justice system in Newfoundland doesn't inspire much confidence in me). At least he's off the street for a little while anyway.