April 25, 2019 4:15 pm
Updated: April 25, 2019 7:12 pm

Jury finds Bryan Townson guilty of manslaughter in stabbing death of Peterborough resident Paul Atchison

A jury has handed down its verdict in the Bryan Townson murder trial. The six-man, six-woman panel found the 37-year old guilty of manslaughter instead of the original charge of second degree murder.


After deliberating for 14 hours a jury has found Bryan Townson not guilty of second degree murder in the death of Paul Atchison.

But the six-man, six-woman panel did find the 37-year old guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

As he was led out of court Global News asked Townson how he felt about the verdict.

“It is what it is,” he replied in a quiet voice.

30 minutes before when his fate was read aloud in Superior Court,, Townson looked straight ahead and showed no emotion.

A member of Atchison’s family wiped away tears.

During the three week trial, Townson said he acted in self-defence when he stabbed Atchison 13 times with a 19-centimeter long kitchen knife outside his

Stewart Street apartment February 8th, 2017.

The crown argued the murder was fueled by jealousy over a woman both men were seeing.

Townson wanted to get rid of Atchison who was 43 at the time, according to the crown.

READ MORE: Peterborough courtroom shown suspected weapon at murder trial of Bryan Townson


Paul Atchsion of Peterborough was killed in February 2017.


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Crown attorney Sam Humphrey spoke to the media outside the courthouse.

“We are satisfied with the verdict. We hope that it has brought closure to Mr. Atchison’s family. We thank the jury for their service and the Peterborough police service for their efforts in this investigation.”

“It’s clear from the verdict and from the question that was asked by the jury that they listened very closely and carefully considered all the evidence so both Mr. Townson and I are thankful for that,” said defence counsel Alison Craig.

The case will be back in court May 22nd for sentencing submissions.


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