The jury began deliberations yesterday in the murder trial of Herbert Hawkins.


After three weeks of testimony, Supreme Court Justice Frank Edwards completed his charge to the jury yesterday morning, and the six men and six women began deliberating at about 11:30 a.m. Final submissions from the Crown and defence were heard Friday.


Defence lawyer Darlene MacRury has argued there isn’t enough evidence to prove Hawkins guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the killing of North Sydney resident Sheldon (Shelly) Boutilier.


Hawkins, 33, was charged with first-degree murder in Vancouver 10 days after Boutilier, 48, was found by family members on July 9, 2006, strangled with his throat slit. The charge was later reduced to second-degree murder.


MacRury said it’s acknowledged that Hawkins was at Boutilier’s Mapleview Drive home, but there is no physical evidence connecting him to the crime scene.

One cigarette butt found in the kitchen had the defendant's DNA on it, and the defence has argued Hawkins visited Boutilier in the afternoon on July 8, 2006.

Hawkins’s bare footprint and fingerprint impressions in Boutilier’s blood were also found in the home.

Crown prosecutor Andre Arseneau has said the case is about the jury looking at all of the evidence as a whole and using common sense to come to a verdict.

The mentally disabled Boutilier was an avid strawberry picker and music lover who played both harmonica and guitar.