The B.C. Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial for a man convicted in the 2008 murder of a nurse who was attacked with a hammer.
Kim Rothgordt was found guilty of second-degree murder in January 2011 for the death of James Shannon, whose body was found at his Port Alberni home after he failed to show up for work.
The appeal court ruling said the trial judge was wrong in telling jurors a conviction could be based on a lack of evidence and that he also erred in other areas related to the defence of provocation and intoxication.
The decision also says the jury was improperly instructed on the meaning of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
During the trial, the Crown maintained Rothgordt may have been sexually confused and snapped after his first homosexual experience.
Rothgordt’s defence lawyer said his intoxicated client was sexually attacked and provoked to act in self-defence when he struck Shannon with a hammer.