Family members of a man shot and killed here in 2013 reacted with anger when the man charged with their family member’s death was found not guilty by a jury late this afternoon.
The verdict against Travis Stephens stated that he was not guilty of second degree murder in the death of Eric Cardinal, and was decided by a jury of nine men and three women.
The decision marked the end of three days of deliberations.
Stephens was first charged after Cardinal was found dead in a Dobbie St. residence in Thornhill on Sept. 14, 2013.
Though he was not found guilty of Cardinal’s death, Stephens was found guilty of charges involving Megan Belanger.
He was found guilty of both attempted murder and aggravated assault against Belanger.
Several members of the Cardinal family, who were sitting in the courtroom when the not guilty verdict was read, reacted angrily.
“He murdered my brother,” said one before being escorted out by sheriff’s deputies.
Other members of the Cardinal family also left and loud voices could be heard in the hallway as the court proceedings continued.
As many as five deputy sheriffs in addition to RCMP officers were on hand.
Members of the Stephens family were advised to stay behind until members of the Cardinal family left the courthouse.
They were finally escorted out by a back way.
Sentencing will take place in several weeks.
The jury’s deliberations, which began Monday afternoon, came following a week-long trial.