Case # 35947
Her Majesty the Queen v. Jason Rodgerson (January 14, 2015)
The respondent was convicted of second degree murder. The respondent killed a woman he met at a bar and buried her body outside in a shallow grave behind his garage. At trial, the respondent argued that the forensic evidence supported his version of the events. According to him a short altercation occurred in the bedroom, during which he was attacked and stabbed by the victim. The respondent argued that he inadvertently smothered the victim in an attempt to defend himself. A majority of the court of appeal allowed the respondent’s appeal from conviction and ordered a new trial. In the view of the court of appeal the trial judge committed two errors. First, the judge misdirected the jury to consider the respondent’s flight and lies to police on the issue of intent for murder. Second, the trial judge failed to adequately instruct the jury on how the evidence of the respondent’s efforts to clean up the crime scene could be used.