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Peter Khill files statement of defence in $2M civil suit saying Styres acted ‘menacing’

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Peter Khill, who was acquitted of murder after he killed a Six Nations man on his property, has filed a statement of defence in a more than $2 million civil suit brought by the man’s spouse and two young daughters.

In court documents filed on Nov. 2, the Hamilton-area homeowner denies Jon Styres’ family suffered the injuries, losses and damages described in their statement of claim and rejects most of the other points raised in the suit filed by Hamilton’s Hooper Law Offices.

Khill, a former Canadian Forces reservist, admitted he shot and killed Styres in Feb. 2016. He was found not-guilty of second-degree murder in June after a two-week trial in Hamilton Superior Court.

Khill’s statement of defence takes the same position as he did in his criminal trial, that he fired in self-defence. His civil case defence also claims he felt an « immediate threat of death and/or serious bodily harm » to both him and his wife when he woke up around 3 a.m. and saw someone had broken into his truck.

The defence rejects the lawsuit’s claim Khill fired « suddenly and without warning » and that he intentionally shot to kill the 29-year-old man from Ohsweken on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve as he « fled. »

The direction Styres was facing when he was shot was a point of contention during the criminal trial, with prosecutors arguing blood spatter evidence showed he was facing toward the truck and the defence claiming he was facing away.

Investigators marked 74 separate specks of blood inside the passenger side of Peter Khill’s truck. (Ministry of the Attorney General)

In his statement, Khill says he knew a garage door opener in his truck could be used by Styres to gain access to the house leaving him to fear a « potentially armed home invasion » was imminent.

The defence adds Styres was « acting in a menacing and or threatening way. »

In their lawsuit, Styres’ family said Khill made no attempt to contact the authorities before confronting him. But in his statement, Khill denies this, despite testifying during the criminal trial that his actions that night were dictated by his military training, which did not include calling 911.

None of the allegations in the suit have been tested in civil court.

Brian Simo, the lawyer representing Khill, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his client’s defence.

Khill claimed self-defence

In the criminal trial, a jury found Khill, who is white, not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in Styres’ death.

The former military reservist never denied firing the two close-range shotgun blasts that killed the First Nations man, but said he pulled the trigger because he was following his training and believed Styres was armed with a gun.

Khill never denied shooting Styres twice with this 12 gauge shotgun at close range, but maintains he fired is self-defence. (Ministry of the Attorney General)

Court heard Styres did not have a gun. He did have a folding knife, but it was closed and found by police in the pocket of his pants.

Public reaction to the verdict was deeply divided. Some some supported the decision, while others pointed to race as factor in the jury’s decision despite each juror being screened for bias during the selection process.

The case drew comparisons the death of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, who was shot and killed by Gerald Stanley, a white farmer, in Saskatchewan.

A jury with no visibly Indigenous jurors reached its not guilty verdict for Stanley in August 2016. The decision led to outrage across the country and a pledge from federal ministers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to change « systemic issues » in the justice system.

Following the Khill verdict, Indigenous leaders and activists also called for changes to Canada’s justice system and for the verdict to be appealed.

Family and friends of Jon Styres hug outside court after hearing Khill was found not guilty on June 27, 2018. (Laura Clementson/CBC)

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald issued a statement describing Styres as « another victim of senseless violence. »

« This sort of extreme violence – shooting an unarmed man – is not acceptable in Canada, » she said. « No one should place the value of a possession over the sacred life of a human being. »

In August the Crown announced it is appealing the not guilty verdict on the basis that Superior Court Justice Stephen Glithero failed to properly instruct the jury about self-defence and let an unqualified witness give opinion evidence on military training.

The lawsuit launched by Styres’s spouse, Lindsay Hill and her two daughters was filed on Jan. 31, 2018.

In it the family claims damages of $2 million, aggravated and punitive damages of $250,000, pre and post-judgement interest and any other costs the court deems just.

The damages are based on « mental distress, » a loss of income and services from Styres as well as a loss of « care, guidance and companionship as the result of his death. »

A trial date has not yet been set.



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Anglais

A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Anglais

Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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Anglais

9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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