BY KEITH LACEY
The fate of a Garson senior charged with second-degree murder of a feuding neighbour is now in the hands of a six-man, five-woman jury.
Jerry Paiement, 65, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Mark Houle, 37.
Defence counsel Donald Plaunt and assistant Crown attorney Len Walker spent Tuesday morning addressing the jury during closing submissions.
Justice Louise Gauthier of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice gave the jury her final address Tuesday afternoon.
After her charge was completed, the jury was to begin deliberations and will be sequestered until they reach a unanimous verdict.
At Northern Life press time Tuesday, no verdict had been returned. If a verdict wasn?t reached by 9 pm, Gauthier was expected to tell the jury they will spend the night in a Sudbury hotel and will resume deliberations this morning.
Paiement, who was the only defence witness, testified the revolver he was holding fired accidentally during a tussle with Houle.
Houle came running at him after the two men had repeatedly exchanged words in the minutes before the shooting, said Paiement.
Houle yelled out several times he wasn?t afraid of any gun Paiement had in his possession and threatened to get physical with him, he said.
Houle was only inches away when the gun went off accidentally, he said.
His finger accidentally got caught in a trigger mechanism and fired, hitting Houle in the stomach, he said.
Paiement admitted he and Houle had a long-running feud and all of their problems related to Houle continually crossing onto his property.
Houle began taunting him by continually commenting the only way he would stop crossing onto his property was if he built a fence, said Paiement.
Under cross-examination, Paiement admitted he knew it was illegal to carry a concealed and loaded handgun.
When asked why he loaded the gun with six bullets instead of only one or two, Paiement said it was a habit because he always loaded it with six bullets when he used the gun for target practice.
Walker asked Paiement why he was the only person at the crime scene who showed little or no emotion. Paiement said he was in shock.
The Crown alleges Paiement deliberately fetched the gun, loaded it, went outside his home determined to confront Houle and then shot him without provocation.
If convicted of second-degree murder, Paiement faces an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.