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Fatal stabbing of chef wasn’t murder, defence lawyer tells jurors

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Calgarian Anthony Dodgson fatally stabbed a city chef during a botched break-in attempt at a cannabis store, his lawyer conceded Wednesday.

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But defence counsel Tonii Roulston said Dodgson was too high and drunk to form the intent to commit murder and is only guilty of manslaughter.

Roulston told a 14-member jury (two will be dismissed before they begin deliberations Thursday) that the Crown’s star witness, who gave incriminating evidence against Dodgson and his co-accused, Tommie Holloway, can’t be believed.

“The Crown’s theory as I see it is Anthony and Tommie wanted to get into Spiritleaf so badly that they planned to stab Mr. Herblin if he resisted,” Roulston said.

“Now that theory relies heavily on (the star witness),” she said, of the witness whose identity is protected by a publication ban.

“Due to her own selfish motives (and) her level of intoxication, she is not reliable and she is not credible.”

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Both Dodgson and Holloway are charged with second-degree murder in the March 14, 2020 stabbing of Herblin in the parking lot of a Bow Tr. S.W. strip mall where both Spiritleaf and the chef’s soon to open Croque Saveurs bistro were located.

Herblin had arrived there three hours earlier when the two accused broke into his restaurant with the intent of breaking through the adjoining wall to Spiritleaf and was still there when they returned around 6 a.m.

Roulston said the evidence from the star witness fails, because she said the plan the two accused hatched was to stab Herblin if he resisted so they could complete the break-in at the weed shop.

“Why didn’t they go back into Spiritleaf, the plan was successful?” she said.

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Roulston said both Dodgson and the witness had been drinking and doing drugs for days.

“I’m not asking you to find him not guilty, I’m asking you to find him guilty of manslaughter,” the lawyer said.

“He was intoxicated by drugs and alcohol to the extent that he could not foresee the consequences of his actions and that makes him guilty of manslaughter.”

Final submissions are expected to last all of Wednesday.

… more to come

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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