Huth appeals manslaughter conviction

Brandon Carl Huth is appealing his manslaughter conviction in the November 2011 death of Shawnigan Lake’s Tyler Noble.

In November 2013, after an 11-day trial, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Macaulay found Huth guilty of causing Noble’s death during a confrontation near the McDonald’s restaurant at View and Douglas streets. When Noble was hit, he immediately fell backward, striking his head on the sidewalk. He died from head injuries in hospital a few hours later.

Macaulay found the force of the blow caused Noble to lose consciousness, his eyes rolling back and his body stiffening, before he fell in a plank-like position. A reasonable person would have recognized that the blow would subject Noble to the risk of bodily harm, the judge said.

On March 4, 2014, Huth was sentenced to two years less 10 days in jail and three years probation. He is serving his sentence at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.

Huth, who is representing himself, filed his notice of appeal on Monday. In the four-page notice, Huth points to areas where he says Macaulay erred.

These include Macaulay’s rejection of Huth’s defence of self-defence and his rejection of Huth’s credibility.

Prosecution witnesses testified that Noble was acting loudly and aggressively, and became involved in a heated exchange with a man outside the downtown Boutique nightclub. Noble’s friend, Tom Gow, testified that Noble used homophobic slurs and said that he tried to calm Noble and break up the argument.

A little later, Gow stepped in during another heated argument, this time with Huth. Gow testified he put his right hand on Noble and brushed Huth with his left forearm. At that point, Gow was hit on the left side of his face. He heard a crunch, looked up and saw Noble’s head snapped back. His arms were by his side.

Macaulay found that Gow acted as a peacemaker and that any physical contact with Huth was incidental. Gow never acted in a physical or threatening manner.

The judge also found that Noble did not invite or threaten a physical confrontation. He did not consent to fight and did not threaten Huth.

Huth argues that Macaulay erred by misapprehending Gow’s evidence, particularly his cross-examination.

"The assertion that Thomas Gow was an innocent intervener was inconsistent with the available video evidence from the McDonald’s video camera," Huth writes in his appeal.

Macaulay also failed to properly consider the evidence of other witnesses who testified that Noble was the aggressor.

Huth asks the appeal court to acquit him of manslaughter or failing that, order a new trial.

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