Jurors at a trial of two men accused in the fatal stabbing of a popular Calgary chef were given different storylines Wednesday during closing arguments.
Anthony Dodgson and Tommie Holloway have both pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Christophe Herblin on March 14, 2020.
Mr. Herblin was a long-time executive sous chef at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club and his new restaurant was weeks away from opening.
The jury has heard that Mr. Herblin responded to an early-morning break-in at the restaurant and, after police left, was stabbed in the parking lot and later died.
Mr. Dodgson is accused of stabbing Mr. Herblin nine times but said he only remembers being involved in a scuffle as he was impaired by drugs and alcohol at the time.
Mr. Holloway testified there was no plan to attack Mr. Herblin and, although he had smashed the chef’s car windows, he left before the stabbing.
Crown prosecutor Carla MacPhail urged the jurors to look at the whole of the evidence in making a decision.
“Mr. Holloway denies knowledge of what Mr. Dodgson was going to do. Mr. Dodgson denies knowledge of what he was going to do himself. He denies remembering that he stabs Mr. Herblin and he denies the intent when he stabbed Mr. Herblin nine times,” Ms. MacPhail said.
“The Crown submits these denials … ought not be believed.”
Ms. MacPhail said both men are equally responsible.
“I would submit to you Mr. Dodgson is guilty. Mr. Holloway is the ultimate party to this murder,” she said.
“He helped Mr. Dodgson with the purpose, with the knowledge that Mr. Dodgson intended to kill or intended to cause bodily harm that he knew would likely cause the death of Mr. Herblin.”
Mr. Dodgson’s lawyer said he bears some responsibility. “This is a senseless death. It’s unfortunate, unnecessary, troubling,” said Tonii Roulston.
But Ms. Roulston said because Mr. Dodgson was impaired, he was unable to understand the consequences of his actions.
“Did Anthony Dodgson commit an unlawful act? Yes, he did. Did that unlawful act cause the death of Christophe Herblin? Yes, it did. Did Anthony Dodgson have the intent required for murder? No, he did not,” Ms. Roulston told the jury.
“I’m asking you to find him guilty of manslaughter. He was intoxicated by drugs and alcohol to the extent that he could not see the consequences of his actions and that makes this manslaughter.”
A key Crown witness, who was in the car with the two men, testified that she had seen both of them with knives and they had discussed attacking Mr. Herblin in order to get back into his store.
Ms. Roulston said the woman, who cannot be identified, was also intoxicated and her testimony is unreliable.
Kim Ross, who is representing Mr. Holloway, told the jurors that the woman was lying to deflect blame from herself. He said Mr. Holloway was truthful in his testimony and had nothing to do with Mr. Herblin’s death.
“Mr. Holloway did not kill anyone. Mr. Holloway did not participate in any altercation with Mr. Herblin,” Mr. Ross said in his closing.
“In no way, shape or form did Mr. Holloway commit the offence of second-degree murder or any included offence. Mr. Holloway’s not guilty of anything. He’s not guilty of murder. He’s not guilty of manslaughter.”
The trial, which was originally scheduled to last three weeks, is now in its sixth week. The Crown was expected to finish closing arguments Thursday.
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