YELLOWKNIFE - The fate of an Alberta man charged in the murder of a northern RCMP officer two years ago is in the hands of a jury.
Emrah Bulatci, 25, admitted during his trial that he shot Const. Chris Worden while the officer was chasing him in October 2007 in Hay River, N.W.T. Worden was shot four times, but Bulatci testified he shot at the Mountie's legs two times to try to stop him, and never intended to kill him.
He said the last two fatal shots went off accidentally as the pair wrestled on the ground for control of his gun.
The seven-man, five-woman jury began their deliberations Wednesday. After a few hours, they returned to ask Justice John Vertes for a written legal definition of first-degree murder and manslaughter, with an emphasis on intent.
Bulatci had initially tried to plead guilty to manslaughter, but the Crown rejected that and went ahead with the first-degree murder trial.
Vertes explained that first-degree murder means someone intended to kill someone. The judge told jury members they must determine if Bulatci had the state of mind to kill Worden. They must also determine if Bulatci was aware the shots would cause the Mountie's death, and was reckless about that fact, he added.
Earlier, in his charge to the jury, Vertes said members have to consider whether Bulatci's testimony leaves them with doubts about whether he intended to kill Worden.
Vertes said if it does, they must give the accused the benefit of that doubt, and find Bulatci guilty of manslaughter.
A firearms expert testified that four to five kilograms of pressure is needed to pull the trigger, but admitted there could have been enough force during the struggle for Bulatci to pull it accidentally.
Later Wednesday evening, the jury retired for the night and was to resume deliberations Thursday morning.
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