BOTWOOD, N.L. – A murder charge was dropped Thursday against a Newfoundland man accused of killing a home invader last year.
Gilbert Budgell was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of one of two masked men who entered his Botwood house in central Newfoundland in April 2016.
The man later died in hospital.
Crown prosecutor Karen O’Reilly says the case — which included a second charge of unlawful possession of a firearm — couldn’t go ahead without satisfactory belief it could be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
“When it gets to the judge’s stage, he has to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that it happened, so he needs almost near certainty,” O’Reilly told reporters Thursday in Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L.
Defence lawyer Bob Buckingham said the home invaders arrived wearing masks, and Budgell acted out of fear.
“He wished things had turned out much more differently,” Buckingham told reporters outside court. “He’s absolutely and totally, completely upset and distraught as to what happened to this person.”