Simeon Harty v. His Majesty the King

(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Criminal law — Charge to jury — Appellate review of jury instructions for legal error — Whether jury properly instructed — Whether a lack of judicial comity exists amongst appeal courts reviewing cases in which the trial judge failed to put the defence theory to the jury? — Direction is sought from this Court to confirm that the failure of a trial judge to instruct the jury on a key element of the defence theory is fatal on appeal.


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.

A chance encounter between the occupants of two cars at a gas station occurred. Following this encounter, the participants went back to their cars and left the station. One car, however, quickly followed the other. Once alongside each other, a passenger in one of the cars, Nicholas Gidden, was shot and killed by an occupant of the other car. The trial concerned whether the passenger of that other car, Walid Zakaria, or the driver, the applicant Simeon Harty, fired the shot that killed Nicholas Gidden. After a trial by judge and jury, the applicant was convicted of second degree murder, and discharge of a firearm with intent. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Lower Court Rulings

February 6, 2019
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Conviction entered: second degree murder, discharge of a firearm with intent
May 12, 2023
Court of Appeal for Ontario

2023 ONCA 340, C67527
Conviction appeal dismissed