An Edmonton man who shot his pregnant childhood friend because he believed the unborn child she was carrying was Lucifer's baby was found guilty yesterday of first-degree murder.
The family of Olivia Talbot, who was 19 when she was shot at point-blank range in November, 2005, cried and hugged when jurors came back with the verdict against Jared Baker, 21.
The Crown prosecutor had urged the jury to find Mr. Baker guilty, arguing that he was angry at Ms. Talbot for using drugs while pregnant and knew what he was doing when he shot her.
But the defence argued that Mr. Baker should be found not criminally responsible because he was mentally ill and had a drug problem.
Mr. Baker testified at his trial that he became convinced he was the son of Satan and by "crushing the serpent's head" -- meaning killing Ms. Talbot and the fetus -- he could "walk like Jesus."
Jurors also heard that Mr. Baker believed the unborn baby was talking to him in his dreams, asking him to take its life.
He also testified that he thought the government had planted a transmitter in his head.
Outside court, Ms. Talbot's family said they were happy with the verdict.
"I have a renewed faith in this justice system, I really do," said the girl's mother, Mary Talbot.
"I'm so glad that it went to a jury, and I'm so glad the jury had the sense to see what it was for what it was."
But she said she knows Mr. Baker's family must also be suffering.
"To be perfectly honest, my heart does go out to his family and I don't wish them any ill will.
"I just pray that now we can all go on and try to rebuild our lives."