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Jury finds ex-medical student not guilty of first-degree murder

By Steve MacArthur Feb 18, 2023 | 5:51 PM

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A former medical student at Dalhousie has been found not guilty of first-degree murder but guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Taylor Samson.

Media reports on the verdict emerged from the courtroom on Saturday evening in the case of William Sandeson.

The 12-member jury had been nearing the end of its third day of deliberations when the verdict was reached.

Sandeson shot and Sampson, a fellow Dal student, in a drug deal gone wrong at a Halifax apartment in 2015.

During the re-trial, Sandeson testified he shot the 22-year-old in self defence, and after three days of deliberations the jury agreed the murder was not planned or premeditated.

That’s the main difference in the two murder charges, first-degree involves planning and is thought out while second-degree is intentional, but it’s done in the heat of the moment.

A new trial was ordered after Sandeson won an appeal of a guilty verdict in his first case and the appeal judge ruled a mistrial should have been declared over the way evidence was collected by a private investigator.

The second-degree murder conviction comes with a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison with parole eligibility after 10 years.

Sandeson will be sentenced on April 20-21 in Halifax.


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