Downey brothers guilty on all charges in connection with death of Tylor McInnis
Emotions ran high in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Friday as two brothers from North Preston, N.S., were convicted on all charges in connection with the 2016 murder of 26-year-old Tylor McInnis.
A 12-member jury found Shawntez Downey, 27, guilty of second-degree murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and forcible confinement. Daniel Downey, 21, was found guilty of accessory to murder after the fact, as well as kidnapping and confinement. The latter charges pertain to an altercation with McInnis’s companion, Liam Thompson, who survived the Aug. 22, 2016 attack.
Shawntez’s second-degree murder charges carries a sentence of life in prison, but a sentence hearing has been set for July 24 to determine how many years must pass before he’s eligible for parole. Daniel will also be sentenced at that time, and will remain in custody until then.
“I’m very happy that justice has finally been served,” said Catherine Johnson, McInnis’s mother, outside the courtroom on Friday. “You know, nothing will ever bring my son back, but knowing these criminals will be taken off the streets…
“I’m one of the lucky ones because they’ve been found, trial’s over, and they’ve been found guilty.”
Tylor McInnis’ body was found in the trunk of a stolen car, abandoned in a North Preston cemetery, wrapped in plastic or tarp and smelling of bleach. A coroner concluded that McInnis died of a single gunshot wound, but found abrasions on his lower back, legs and arms, as well as a laceration on his skull.
During the trial, the jury heard that McInnis met Shawntez Downey to exchange drugs for a gun. The Crown argued that the deal went south when Shawntez Downey double-crossed McInnis and chased him into the woods with Daniel and several others, while another man restrained McInnis’s companion.
The jury was sequestered on late on Thursday afternoon and deliberated for just over six hours in total, before reaching a verdict around 2:30 p.m. on Friday. As friends and family of the Downey brothers wept, relatives of McInnis celebrated.
“Now I have a different type of life to live, so learning to live without him but being positive because he wouldn’t want me stressed, depressed, so it’s only getting better from here,” said Johnson.
She described McInnis, a father of four as a “happy-go-lucky” soul, who always gave his time to others with no expectation of reciprocation.
— With files from Graeme Benjamin
WATCH: Jury begins deliberations at Shawntez Downey murder trial
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