James McCullough v. His Majesty the King

(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Criminal law — Evidence — After-the-fact conduct — Whether the trial judge properly instructed the jury on the applicant’s after-the-fact conduct and discreditable conduct evidence —Whether the Court of Appeal erred in law?


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The applicant admitted to stabbing the victim and dismembering the victim’s body. The applicant testified that the stabbing was a reaction to an unexpected sexual advance and it was not planned or deliberate. The trial judge admitted evidence of rap lyrics by the applicant and statements to a psychiatric nurse suggesting a desire to commit cannibalism. The Crown referred to the applicant’s post-offence conduct of dismembering the victim, cleaning the hotel room, attempting to dispose of the body, lying to the police and remaining calm the day after. After a trial by judge and jury, the applicant was convicted of first-degree murder and committing an indignity to a human body. The conviction appeal was dismissed.

Lower Court Rulings

April 25, 2016
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Convictions entered: first-degree murder and committing an indignity to a human body
February 3, 2021
Court of Appeal for Ontario

2021 ONCA 71, C63642
Appeal dismissed