Spencer Lee Jordan v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Alberta) (Criminal) (As of Right / By Leave)
(Publication ban in case)
Criminal law - Elements of offence - Criminal law - Murder - Elements of offence - Parties to offence - Constructive first degree murder - Confinement - Whether common sense inference can be utilized to find accused had requisite mens rea for murder under s. 229(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-42, when trier of fact made specific findings of fact and ruled that requisite intent under s. 229(a)(i) did not exist - Whether, once trial judge determines there is no factual causation, she can jettison causation analysis of co-accused individually and proceed directly to considering parties to offence under s. 21 of Criminal Code - What is degree and scope of knowledge that must be proven by Crown to impose criminal liability for first or second degree murder when evidence does not factually support inference that two parents acted in concert resulting in death of child in their home by way of assault - What is proper legal test to be a party to an offence under s. 21(1)(a) of Criminal Code - Whether s. 231(5) of Criminal Code was available at trial or on appeal.
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The appellant, Spencer Lee Jordan, and his common-law partner, Marie Eve Magoon, were charged with first degree murder following the death of Mr. Jordan’s six-year-old daughter, Meika Jordan. Meika died in hospital on November 14, 2011 as a result of severe injuries suffered while in the custody of Ms. Magoon and Mr. Jordan, which included a laceration to her pancreas, a tear of the liver, a subdural hematoma and cerebral swelling resulting from at least five serious blows to the head, extensive bruising all over her body, matted and broken hair with clumps missing, and a significant burn on her hand. At trial, inculpatory evidence led by the Crown included statements made by Mr. Jordan and Ms. Magoon during a “Mr. Big” operation. The accused were found guilty of second degree murder. The Crown appealed, seeking first degree murder convictions. Both accused also appealed their convictions. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals by the accused and allowed the Crown’s appeal, entering verdicts of first degree murder for both accused.
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