First-degree murder charge laid in death of N.S. woman paralyzed in 2014 shooting
A first-degree murder charge has been laid after a 22-year-old woman who was paralyzed in a 2014 shooting died earlier this month.
Halifax District RCMP say Markel Jason Downey, 22, was arrested Wednesday on the charge and appeared via video in Nova Scotia Supreme Court Thursday morning.
Downey is also facing two charges of attempted murder in relation to the shooting.
On Nov. 30, 2014, three people were shot at a home on Arklow Drive in Cole Harbour. Four people were initially arrested: three youths and Downey.
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Ashley MacLean Kearse was left paralyzed from the chest down and confined to a wheelchair. Kearse’s family has confirmed with Global News she died in hospital on July 2 after suffering a medical emergency.
According to RCMP, the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service has concluded that her death was a result of being shot during that home invasion.
During Downey’s initial trial in February 2017, Kearse testified that four masked intruders broke into the home and shot her and two friends. The court heard that eight to nine bullets were fired.
Downey was acquitted of all 28 charges on Feb. 15, 2017.
The Crown successfully appealed that acquittal and a new trial was ordered. At that point, a Canada-wide warrant was issued for Downey and he was taken into police custody on May 1.
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