June 24th, 2024

William Sandeson guilty of second-degree murder, jury rejects self-defence claim

By The Canadian Press on February 18, 2023.

William Sandeson, left, arrives for his preliminary hearing at provincial court in Halifax on Thursday, February 11, 2016.A jury started its third day of deliberations today in the trial of a former Halifax medical student charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 shooting death of a fellow student. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

HALIFAX – A former Halifax medical student has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a fellow student during a drug deal.

During his trial, William Sandeson told a Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury he killed physics student Taylor Samson in self-defence on Aug. 15, 2015, but the jury rejected that claim in its decision on Saturday.

Before coming to the decision, jury members deliberated for about 23 hours, beginning on Thursday.

The lead juror first announced that Sandeson had been found not guilty of first-degree murder before declaring him guilty of the lesser charge before the hushed courtroom, as Samson’s family members sat listening quietly.

The six-week trial marked the second time Sandeson was tried for the crime.

He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2017, but the verdict was overturned on appeal and a new trial was ordered in 2020.

Those convicted of second-degree murder face an automatic life sentence, but the presiding judge can set parole eligibility at between 10 and 25 years.

Nine of the jurors recommended to the judge that Sandeson not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2023.

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