Howard Everett Krewson is led out of the Vernon courthouse by sheriffs Friday after being found guilty of second-degree murder.

Howard Everett Krewson is led out of the Vernon courthouse by sheriffs Friday after being found guilty of second-degree murder.

Guilty verdict in Lumby murder trial

Jury takes five hours of deliberation to find Howard Everett Krewson, 57, guilty of second-degree murder..

A six-woman, six-man jury deliberated for less than five hours Friday, with a lunch break included, before finding a Lumby man guilty of second-degree murder.

Howard Everett Krewson, 57, was found guilty in Supreme Court in Vernon connection with the shooting death on June 19, 2014, of his common-law wife, Linda Ross – also known as Linda Marie Stewart – at the property and residence they shared on Trinity Valley Road.

The jury believed that Crown counsel proved beyond a reasonable doubt Krewson was well aware of the intent and consequences of his actions when he shot Ross on that June evening.

Defence had argued for a lesser included offence of manslaughter, stating Krewson was severely intoxicated by a combination of alcohol, drugs and pills, and could not form the intent to know the consequences of what he was doing.

The nine-day trial heard from a number of witnesses – including Krewson, who took the stand in his own defence to begin defence proceedings.

Court heard how June 19, 2014 began shortly after 6 a.m. for the couple when they received a telephone call that a mutual friend had died of cancer.

The couple smoked one-to-two marijuana joints, as “relaxers,” then went into Lumby for breakfast and to run some errands.

They returned to their home before lunch and Krewson proceeded to consume three glasses of wine at lunch, and said under oath he consumed one-to-two beers every hour from 1 to 5 p.m., and smoked one-to-two marijuana cigarettes per hour.

Shortly before 5 p.m., Krewson said he started to become “antsy” thinking about some projects he had on the go, as well as preparing for a gathering at his home the next day, followed the day after by a wedding in Armstrong.

Ross was on a phone call to a friend of hers, saying Krewson was acting strange, “putting poison out in piles for their dogs,” and “throwing marijuana at the dogs.” She suggested Krewson take half a sleeping pill to calm down.

Krewson helped Ross put their dogs in her car in the garage, then, as Ross tried to leave, he locked the garage door and returned to the house.

After Ross got out to open the garage door, Krewson had returned and stood behind her car, blocking her exit and holding his .44 Magnum handgun.

As Ross was backing out of the garage, she told her friend on the phone, “Oh God, he’s got a gun,” and “Oh God, he’s going to shoot me.”

At that point, the friend heard glass breaking and the dogs barking.

Ross was shot once.

Krewson was found by police about 30 minutes after the shooting inside the couple’s home, suffering from a gunshot wound to the face.

Justice Frank Cole spent 75 minutes addressing the jury Friday morning before sending them out to deliberate the verdict at 10:30 a.m.

The jury announced it had reached a unanimous verdict just after 3:30 p.m.

Cole then asked the jury to make a recommendation in regards to sentencing.

He said the jury could make no recommendations, or they could make a recommendation of the number of years Krewson must serve in jail before being eligible for parole. It would have to be a number no less than 10 years, and not more than 25 years.

After 15 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned to Supreme Court.

The lady foreperson announced that eight of the jurors had no recommendations, and four of the jurors recommended 15 years before parole eligibility.

Cole will take the jury’s recommendations into consideration when he passes sentence, which may not happen until the new year.

Crown has asked for a pre-sentence report and psychiatric risk assessment on Krewson. There is also the matter of scheduling for Cole, Crown counsel Shirley Meldrum and defence lawyer Donna Turko, who is not available for a sentencing date until at least after the first week of December.

Cole said he may not be available until January. A date for sentencing will be set on Thursday.

Krewson, dressed in a long-sleeve shirt, grey pants and white running shoes, showed no emotion as the jury rendered its decision.