Darryl Sheepway, seen in this 2012 file photo, will hear the verdict in his murder trial Jan. 30. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)

Verdict expected Tuesday in Darryl Sheepway murder trial

Whitehorse man charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 slaying of Christopher Brisson

A verdict is expected tomorrow in the Darryl Sheepway murder trial, about a month and a half after the Crown and defence rested their cases.

Sheepway was charged with first-degree murder in relation to the 2015 slaying of Christopher Brisson, a 25-year-old Whitehorse drug dealer who had been selling crack cocaine to Sheepway in the month leading up to his death.

The case has been a legal oddity in that both the Crown and defence are in agreement that Sheepway fatally shot Brisson on Aug. 28, 2015, after luring him to a remote Whitehorse road under the guise of buying more drugs. So many details were agreed to, in fact, that no jury was brought in for the four-week-long trial, an unusual move when it comes to a charge as serious as first-degree murder.

Instead, the case lies solely in the hands of Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower, whose verdict will hinge on whether he accepts the defence or Crown’s argument about what Sheepway’s intent was leading up to him shooting Brisson.

Sheepway’s defence team, made up of lawyers Lynn McDiarmid and Vincent Larochelle, argued during the trial that Sheepway was in the throes of cocaine withdrawal and in a “hyper-reactive state” when he shot Brisson. He may have fired the fatal shot, they argued, but killing Brisson was never Sheepway’s plan — he just wanted to rob him.

“Mr. Sheepway is a killer, your Honour, but he is not a murderer,” Larochelle said in the defence’s closing submissions.

Sheepway is not guilty of murder, the defence said, but the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The Crown, meanwhile, argued that although Sheepway had a serious addiction to crack cocaine, he showed clear, linear thinking in the hours before, during and after killing Brisson, acting methodically and with foresight of his actions. That he brought a shotgun to the meeting, Crown attorney Jennifer Grandy said, already shows intent — Sheepway clearly knew the weapon could produce deadly results.

The defence’s version of events, Grandy said, is “too much of a stretch” to be believed.

Other than Sheepway, there were no other eyewitnesses to the killing. Both the Crown and defence leaned heavily on forensics experts to bolster their cases.

Gower is expected to deliver his verdict at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The News’ coverage of the trial can be found here:

Darryl Sheepway’s first-degree murder trial begins in Whitehorse

First degree-murder trial in death of Christopher Brisson continues in Whitehorse

Darryl Sheepway murder trial hears from firearm and bloodstains experts

Sheepway had ‘abnormal’ mindset when shooting Chris Brisson, psychiatrist tells court

On stand, Sheepway details crack addiction, aftermath of shooting

Closing arguments underway in Darryl Sheepway murder trial

Darryl Sheepway murder trial comes to a close with Crown submissions

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Darryl SheepwayYukon courts

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen

xx
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

Most Read