March 10 1998
Free Press Files
An Elkford women, whose common-law husband was found in the couple’s bathtub with his throat slit, was convicted Friday of second degree murder.
It took the B.C. Supreme Court jury one day before finding Dawn Michelle Taylor guilty of killing Timothy Charles (T.C.) Wright, 35, on Sept. 3, 1995.
Taylor could spend the next 25 years behind bars.
“I was impressed with the prosecution’s handling of the case, although I would have liked a first -degree murder conviction, but that wasn’t an option,” said T.C.’s mother, Vivian Wright. “I am please the jury brought in the verdict they did.”
Taylor was facing a first degree murder charge, but Justice G.P. Fraser told the jury he was striking Taylor’s first degree murder charge from the court record.
Fraser said it was his job not to waste the jury’s time on charges where no evidence exists for a conviction. However, he told the jury they could find Taylor guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter.
The difference between first and second degree murder lies in parole eligibility. A person convicted of first-degree murder isnt eligible for parole for 25 years, but can apply for judicial review- the faint hope clause- after serving 15 years. A person convicted of second-degree murder can apply for parole after 10 years in jail.
“I can not see in the circumstances, however, to prejudge the assessment for parole in the year 2008,” Fraser said. “Thus I do not extend her ineligibility period.”
Defence lawyer Glen Orris argued in only unusual circumstances should parole be increased.
“There is no legitimate reason to increase it beyond 10 years,” Orris said.
Crown council Ron Webb said the jury’s verdict was consistent with Wright’s death being a planned murder. He added the eight-inch knife cut to Wright’s throat highlighted the unusual brutal nature of the crime.
“Im very relieved the five weeks is over, its been very difficult,” Vivian said.
Crown contended Taylor drugged Wright with a prescription tranquilizer, then inflicted the eight-inch gash to his neck to prevent him from leaving her to return to Nova Scotia.
Taylor told the court she acted in self defence to protect herself from Wright, who she said physically abused her during their relationship
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