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Judge declares Jeffrey McCaig guilty of manslaughter in 2019 death of Kevin Hallock

The Hon. Madam Justice J.C.L. Dawson acknowledged in her 67-page decision that the Crown proved beyond a reasonable doubt that McCaig stabbed Hallock 17 times on Nov. 10, 2019 in Moose Jaw but did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to kill.

A Court of Queen’s Bench judge has declared Jeffrey Glenn McCaig guilty of manslaughter for causing the death of Kevin Hallock in 2019 even though the Crown pushed for a second-degree murder conviction.

In a 67-page decision that was recently released, the Hon. Madam Justice J.C.L. Dawson acknowledged that the Crown had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that McCaig stabbed Hallock 17 times in the chest with a knife around 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2019 in Moose Jaw, while the defence did not dispute this.

What Justice Dawson had to determine, however, was whether the Crown had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that McCaig, 30, intended to kill Hallock when he administered the fatal blows. If so, this would lead to a second-degree murder conviction.

Analyzing the case

In her decision, which quoted heavily from existing case law, Justice Dawson analyzed whether McCaig had proven that he was not criminally responsible for Hallock’s death, whether he suffered from a mental disorder or “disease of the mind” when the offence occurred, whether he appreciated the nature and quality of the act, and whether he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Furthermore, Dawson analyzed whether the Crown had proven beyond a reasonable that McCaig was guilty of second-degree murder while she also reviewed the evidence from the trial.

Defence of mental illness

During the trial, McCaig’s defence counsel contended that 16(1) of the Criminal Code meant he should be found not criminally responsible for Hallock’s death because he was suffering from a mental disorder “that rendered him incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or of knowing it was wrong.” 

Section 16(1) states, “No person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing that it was wrong.”

Furthermore, defence counsel asserted that McCaig’s mental state “rendered him incapable of forming the specific intent required for a conviction of second-degree murder,” while the Crown had failed to prove that requisite intent.

Court heard during the trial that McCaig has suffered from mental illness since he was a child, while those symptoms increased after he began using drugs around age 11.

Intent for second-degree murder

During the trial, Dr. Mansfield Mela explained that McCaig suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, delusions, auditory hallucinations and perception delusions, which affected his ability to understand consequences beyond the moment, wrote Dawson. 

Furthermore, McCaig was experiencing a psychotic disorder and heightened senses from all the illicit substances he had consumed before and on Nov. 10 — beer, marijuana, crystal meth, shards, and shatter — that impaired his ability to understand the outcome of his actions. He had also not slept in a couple of days. 

Justice Dawson referred to case law from British Columbia, where its Court of Appeal ruled when there is a reasonable doubt, “then the accused is entitled to the benefit of the doubt and cannot be convicted of murder.”

Furthermore, she noted that other case law shows the defence of intoxication is available on a murder charge that negates specific intent and reduces murder to manslaughter.

McCaig testified that he thought he stabbed Hallock six to eight times but later only remembered stabbing him once, which was an admission of assault but not an intent to cause bodily harm resulting in death, Dawson wrote. 

“A reasonable person would recognize the hazard inherent in stabbing someone … . Mr. McCaig, at the time of the offence, was a manifestly unusual, mentally ill and disconnected person,” she said. 
“I accept he suffered from mental disorders that interfered with his thought processes … . Mr. McCaig’s reasoning was overshadowed and dominated by the delusions and auditory hallucinations he was experiencing.” 

Some delusions included seeing devil dogs and Indian spirits and believing people were attempting to kill him. He also heard voices and thought one or more persons was attacking his girlfriend, Crystal McGillis, which led to his attack on Hallock.


“This was a challenging case,” Dawson wrote.

Based on the evidence, she found McCaig to be a credible witness during the trial and believed he did not intend to kill Hallock.

The evidence left “reasonable doubt” in the judge’s mind that McCaig intended to cause such bodily harm or had subjective foresight of the consequences. Dawson noted that she was not satisfied he had a specific intent for second-degree murder and declared him guilty of manslaughter. 

McCaig returns to court on Tuesday, June 28, where Justice Dawson will hand him his sentence. 

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