A Winnipeg jury decided that a Wasagamack man is guilty of second-degree murder of his cousin.
The incident occurred at the end of October 2016. Brendan Harper was found dead along the shore of Island Lake. In 2018, Harmony Mason, Orien Harper's co-accused, admitted her guilt.
The decision on Orien Harper was made by the jury on Thursday evening. No one from the family of accused or victim was present at the hearing. He received a life sentence with a minimum parole eligibility period of 10 years.
Defence lawyers Karl Gowenlock and Ryan McElhoes asked for the prosecution of manslaughter charges.
"What possible reason would Orien have to want him dead? It just doesn't make sense," Gowenlock told the jury. "What does make sense, what can maybe give some sense to this horrible situation, is that Orien was so intoxicated that he genuinely did not know what he was doing in any meaningful sense."
During the court hearings, it became known that the accused and the victim were best friends, they were like brothers and grew up together from early childhood.
That terrible night, the brothers had a party and together with their friends drank a lot of homemade alcohol, which they called "super juice" that Orien Harper had made himself. In addition, Orien also used drugs. At the party, there was a fight between Harmony Mason and Brendan Harper. After that, the guests began to beat Brandon all together.
As it became known, Harmony Mason told Orien Harper that she wanted to kill Brendan Harper.
Crown attorneys Debbie Buors and Nick Saunders considered that the accused was not too drunk and he understood what he was doing.
"The Crown says that the accused heard Harmony Mason," Crown attorney Debbie Buors said. "He heard her tell Brendan she was going to kill him, and then she and Orien killed him."
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