Court documents related to the February 2016 death of David Delaney of Abbotsford indicate that the Crown will allege at trial that Delaney was killed by his stepson during a confrontation between the two of them.
The public documents reveal evidence that was presented during a “voir dire” (a hearing) to determine whether certain statements should be allowed at trial.
Shayne McGenn, 35, who has been charged with second-degree murder, and Sarah Sather, also 35, who has been charged with accessory after the fact, were initially set to go on trial on April 30 of this year, but the proceedings have been delayed.
Delaney, 63, was discovered dead on Feb. 23, 2016 in his fourth-floor suite in the Aspen Court apartment building on Center Street in Abbotsford.
Court records indicate that Delaney died on or about Feb. 7.
During the recent voir dire, which concluded May 8, the Crown sought the admission of statements that Delaney made to friends and colleagues prior to his death.
McGenn’s lawyer fought the admission of some of the statements, but the judge ruled that they should be allowed at trial.
The documents from the hearing indicate that McGenn moved into Delaney’s apartment in August 2015 and obtained a job at Big River Restaurant in Coquitlam, where Delaney was a manager.
Delaney fired McGenn in 2016 due to concerns about his drug use at the restaurant, the documents state.
In late January 2016, Sather and the child she had with McGenn also moved into the apartment.
The court documents state that McGenn, who was in the midst of a drug addiction, borrowed money from Delaney and some of his co-workers to finance his drug habit.
McGenn also used Delaney’s credit card without permission, and this created further financial problems for Delaney, the documents state.
“At one point, Mr. Delaney had to borrow money from his friends to cover his own debts,” they add.
The relationship deteriorated to the point where Delaney intended to ask McGenn, Sather and their child to leave his apartment, the documents indicate.
“The theory of the Crown is that the deterioration in the relationship between Mr. Delaney and Mr. McGenn brought on by financial strain and Mr. McGenn’s behaviour resulted in a confrontation during which Mr. McGenn murdered Mr. Delaney,” the records state.
The documents do not indicate the manner in which Delaney was killed.
The court heard during the voir dire that the Crown intends to present certain statements at trial that will establish Delaney’s state of mind, his intention to address the issues with McGenn, the nature of the relationship between the two men and to establish motive for the killing.
McGenn was arrested and charged in Penticton in May 2016, and Sather was also charged around that time.