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Murder Question 2018

Jessica J (JJ), a very troubled, slight, but also extraordinarily strong young woman, is selfemployed as a Private Investigator (PI). Though she works alone, she often allows her friends
Malcom D and Trish W to “hang around”, even accompanying her on her PI “missions”.
JJ has been hired to capture pictures of Luke C, thought to be a dangerous underground drug
dealer, in order to later blackmail him for JJ’s client, Jeri H. JJ and her motley crew will have to be
cautious. Luke C is known as a huge, violent criminal with a strength generally described as
JJ, Trish and Malcolm get straight to work. JJ immediately takes out two bottles of whiskey,
crayons, and a large canvas. JJ likes to use the whiskey as a “lubricant” for her brain, and she
drinks both bottles as she sketches out for Malcolm and Trish exactly how the night will unfold.
Several hours later, once their scheme is in place, they stake out the bar that Luke C is known to
frequent and wait for him to make the next move. “Hopefully”, says JJ, “he will be seen selling
drugs and they will have all the evidence that they need. But whatever happens, I think we know
what to do.” At around midnight, Luke C exits from behind the bar, leaves the premises, and as
expected enters an alley just to the side of the bar’s door.
As he moves to the back of the alley, JJ, Malcolm and Trish follow at a distance. Trish admits to JJ
and Malcolm at this time that she has a “complicated” history with Luke C and that, unbeknownst
to them, she is both afraid of Luke C since their break-up and is also out for vengeance. As she
finishes her admission, in an effort to regain her composure she takes a deep puff of her
“inhaler”, or something that looks like an asthma inhaler only larger. The puff is loud enough that,
combined with the whispering, Luke hears them. He turns to see JJ, flanked by Trish and Malcolm,
snapping a photo of him. Luke C immediately begins berating Trish, telling her she was “really
bad at being a compassionate partner”, that she “was always absent and refused to get to know
the real him”, and that he’s “going to get her back”. He then yells at the group, “what are a bunch
of terrible PI’s and addicts going to do to me?!” before he takes a nonchalant step towards them.
JJ, Trish and Malcolm had been ready with a plan just in case they were “made” while snapping
incriminating photos. The three individuals, the strong JJ in the middle flanked by a toned Malcom
on her right and a now seemingly high Trish on her left (what was in that asthma inhaler?!),
surrounded Luke C. Luke C, seeing he was cornered in the alley, took a step back before touching
up against a back wall. He then crossed his arms into his leather jacket, and from it produced
what looked like a black stick in one hand and a metal object in the other. JJ didn’t care to take
note of details of what was in Luke C’s hands, instead stating simply that her mission was to get
the photos to blackmail or kill him, and while she would prefer not to kill him, it looked like Trish
might disagree. Luke C responded by bringing up his black stick in a threatening posture.
At that moment, JJ nodded twice, and Trish and Malcolm commenced a coordinated attack to
take out Luke C’s legs. Luke immediately yelled, “wait, I’m not who you think, I’m the police!”
This didn’t stop Trish but Malcolm held back, looking more closely at Luke C’s left hand, which he
had extended to the group. JJ was unperturbed, simply yelling “Police? Po-po-pwweeese”. As
Trish knocked Luke C off balance, JJ grabbed Luke C’s head and smashed it into the wall behind
him. The sound made a loud “Ka-plowee” and Luke C fell to the ground. JJ, Trish, and Malcom
turned to run, but they found the alley was now blocked by police officers and a gathering crowd.
At that moment, according to witnesses, JJ yells, “remember the plan” and gets down on one
knee with her palms facing up, fingers interlocked. First Trish and then Malcolm use JJ’s
interlocked hands as a foothold, whereupon JJ throws them seemingly right over the adjacent
Trish and Malcolm continue to elude arrest. JJ is arrested on the spot for the murder of Police
Officer Luke C, who had been working diligently under-cover to gather evidence regarding an
underground crime syndicate, led by a criminal mastermind named Kilgrave. At the scene, in
addition to the body of Luke C, police find a baton in his right hand and his police badge visibly
pointed outwards in his left. A coroner later discovers that Luke C’s undercover drinking and drug
use had likely led to a cerebral aneurysm. While Jessica J’s face smash had mysteriously not left
a mark on Luke C, the coroner will testify that the high force of the impact into the wall likely
caused the aneurysm to rupture. The coroner will further state that the ruptured aneurysm led
to a subarachnoid hemorrhage (brain bleed) and, in turn, to Luke C’s death.
Jessica J has been charged with the first-degree murder of Luke C. Discuss the prospects for and
bases of conviction for a homicide offence as well as any defences that may be available to JJ.
In your evaluation, be sure to reference the relevant Criminal Code sections and the applicable
legal principles.