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Two men acquitted in after-hours club shootings

Nathaniel Sparks and Jerrell Johnston have been found not guilty of theshooting deaths of two North Preston men in December 2006.

Nathaniel Sparks and Jerrell Johnston have been found not guilty of the shooting deaths of two North Preston men in December 2006.

After a month-long trial, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury acquitted the men of the two second-degree murder charges each were facing.

Johnston, however, was found guilty of attempted murder in the shooting of Vantino Beals that same night. He will be sentenced on May 12.

On Dec. 10, 2006, Brandon Beals, 21, and Martaze Provo, 25, were shot to death outside an after-hours club on Upper Partridge River Road. The murders shocked the North Preston community and prompted an anti-violence march early in 2007.

The Crown argued Provo, Brandon Beals and Vantino Beals walked away from a confrontation with Sparks and Johnston, who were armed.

But defense lawyers Patrick MacEwen and Kevin Burke said the Crown’s case relied heavily on the testimony of Vantino Beals, who had been drinking heavily that night.

 
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