A jury has found Michael Robertson guilty of manslaughter in the March 2015 stabbing death of Rocky Genereaux.
Robertson, 29, was originally charged with second-degree murder, however the jury found him not guilty on that charge.
The trial wrapped up Wednesday afternoon and was handed over to the jury hearing the case. By Thursday morning they were at an impasse, however they reached their verdict Thursday afternoon.
“It’s not the verdict that I was expecting,” said Crown prosecutor Jennifer Claxton-Viczko to reporters outside of court Thursday.
“The jury obviously worked hard at coming to their decision … so we have to respect their decision.”
Robertson was charged following a cell phone dispute in a home on Avenue I South.
He testified that he left his BlackBerry device at the residence and it was not working correctly after retrieving it.
During the trial, Robertson said he confronted Genereaux about the device, believing he had tampered with it.
Roberston testified that during the altercation, Genereaux became agitated, claimed to have HIV, and lunged at him with an uncovered needle. He said the stabbing was in self defence.
Claxton-Viczko said she believed the jury likely “spent some time weighing the evidence around the intent, or lack thereof” which caused them to come back with a manslaughter conviction.
Robertson also testified that he didn’t know he killed Genereaux until days later when he was shown a news report. Claxton-Viczko said that fact, plus testimony from police officers who said there wasn’t a lot of blood at the scene, likely “played a role in the jury having a reasonable doubt about intention.”
“If they deliberated hard on that point and came to that conclusion, then we have to accept it.”
Claxton-Viczko said she expects the Crown to pursue a dangerous offender designation for Robertson. The sentencing phase of the case will begin in September.