A Cape Breton lobster fisherman has been found guilty of manslaughter in the death of a man at sea.
Joseph James Landry, 67, of Little Anse, had pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death last year of Phillip Boudreau.
Landry's wife wiped her eyes, crying, after Saturday's verdict but Landry showed no visible reaction.
He was remanded into custody with a sentencing hearing set for Jan. 29 at 10 a.m.
The 43-year-old Boudreau's body hasn't been found but Crown attorney Steve Drake told the jury his death was the result of a sustained attack by a three-man lobster fishing crew that included Landry — one of four people charged in the case.
Drake said the Twin Maggies rammed Boudreau's boat three times at the mouth of Petit de Grat harbour on June 1, 2013. He said Landry fired four shots from a rifle, and one hit Boudreau in the leg.
Boudreau's boat overturned after it was rammed the third time and he was then hooked with a gaff and dragged out to sea, Drake said.
After an extensive search of the area, police only turned up Boudreau's black and teal baseball-style cap on the shoreline and his green rubber fishing boots in water, about 20 metres off shore, Drake said.
Boudreau was last seen by his brother near the Petit de Grat wharf on June 1, 2013, just before 6 a.m., Drake said. Boudreau took his red and white speedboat out on the water and it was found overturned without its motor by a local fisherman about one hour later, he said.
Videotaped interviews played during his trial heard Landry initially tell police he shot and rammed Boudreau's boat after he cut his lobster traps and threatened to set his house on fire.
At first, Landry maintained his innocence but later changes his story, saying he fired a rifle at Boudreau four times and intended to kill him, adding he took the wheel of the Twin Maggies and ran over his boat.
"I wanted to destroy him," says Landry, who accused Boudreau of taunting him for years. "I was seeing black. I was so mad."
He told police he later told the Twin Maggies' crew he had made a mistake.
"I regret it," he tells an RCMP investigator. "I told you the truth. It's all over now."
The defence told the jury to discount the videotape, saying Landry was trying to take the blame for what happened to protect others on the Twin Maggies, and came after police told him younger crew members still had their lives ahead of them.
Craig Landry, a deckhand on the Twin Maggies, testified that he did not watch as the Twin Maggies ran over Boudreau's boat three times, though he heard three thuds.
He said Boudreau pleaded for Joseph James Landry to stop firing at him, yelling, "Stop, James. Stop."
Craig Landry, who is Joseph James Landry's third cousin, was previously charged with second-degree murder but that was withdrawn. He now faces a charge of accessory after the fact.
The captain of the Twin Maggies, Dwayne Matthew Samson of D'Escousse, also faces a second-degree murder charge. His wife Carla Samson, who owns the lobster boat, faces a charge of accessory after the fact.
She is also the daughter of Joseph James Landry.
Those three accused have yet to stand trial.
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