Rodrigue guilty

A 12-person jury has found Karen Rodrigue guilty of second-degree murder in the 2004 stabbing of Gerald Dawson.

A 12-person jury has found Karen Rodrigue guilty of second-degree murder in the 2004 stabbing of Gerald Dawson.

The jury came to its decision after a day and a half of deliberations, announcing its verdict Saturday around 5 p.m.

Rodrigue, 39, took responsibility for the June 17, 2004, stabbing death of the 64-year-old Dawson, but she sought a charge of manslaughter, claiming her actions had been clouded by the “humiliation” and “rage” she felt at being raped by Dawson only minutes prior.

Through eight days of proceedings in Yukon Supreme Court, the Crown maintained there were holes in Rodrigue’s testimony, noting it was strange how, in a self-described “panic,” she had still managed to mop up Dawson’s blood with a sheet, move his body into another room, dispose of the murder weapon and craft a story that Dawson was on vacation.

In the 10 days following Dawson’s death and prior to Rodrigue’s arrest, she and partner Dan McGinnis went on a serious alcohol and cocaine binge during which they would sell two of Dawson’s power saws for drug money. They also used his gas card to buy fuel, which was also sold for drug money.

When the jury began deliberations on Friday morning, they were asked to consider the amount of alcohol and drugs in Rodrigue’s body at the time of the stabbing, whether she had truly “lost the power of self control” and whether Rodrigue acted before “her passion had a chance to cool.”

Rodrigue had been found guilty of the crime in 2005. However, last year the Yukon Court of Appeal ordered a retrial, citing errors in the first proceeding.

Sentencing proceedings before Supreme Court Justice John Vertes continue this week. (James Munson and Tristin Hopper)