Not guilty verdict in Wesaquate manslaughter trial

REGINA – Following a week of testimony and about four hours of deliberations, the jury in the trial of Brianna Wesaquate, 30, has found her not guilty of manslaughter after the defence successfully argued she acted in self-defence.

Wesaquate and Kassaundra Desjarlais had been in a domestic relationship, with a history of violence. Court heard police were called out on several occasions in response to them fighting.

However, the Crown Prosecutor and the Defence Lawyer debated who was more dominating and who acted as the instigator when it came to physical conflict in their relationship.

On the evening of October 30, 2013 Wesaquate and 24-year-old Desjarlais were drinking at a family member’s house. An argument indoors turned into a physical fight outside the home, which ended when Dejarlais was stabbed in the arm. She bled to death, passing away in hospital.

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There were no witnesses to the stabbing, but Wesaquate’s lawyer said she was defending herself.

“That was the only defence we put forward. It was self-defence and the jury heard the facts,” said Defence Lawyer Bruce Campbell. “Basically you’re entitled to use force against force.”

Outside court, Wesaquate’s mom said the past year-and-a-half has been a difficult time for her family.

“If it was the other way around, I’d be the same way. So I’d just like to apologize to the family but I’m very happy for my daughter,” said Debra Cyr, Wesaquate’s mother.

Wesaquate remains in custody on unrelated charges.