James Butters (a.ka. Hayward) was shot dead by Port Hardy RCMP on July 8, 2015. Photo contributed

Jury retires to deliberate on 2015 Port Hardy RCMP fatal shooting

Jurors could come back with recommendations arising from five days of a coroner’s inquest

The five-person jury at the coroner’s inquest into the shooting death of James Butters (a.k.a James Hayward) at the hands of the police retired Tuesday to deliberate on recommendations arising form the incident.

Butters, 24, died on July 8, 2015 following a police-involved shooting after Port Hardy RCMP members responded to a call of a male uttering threats.

It was just after 11 a.m. when the Port Hardy RCMP responded to a complaint of a man making threats towards security staff at Port Hardy Secondary School, where a staging area for a wildfire burning throughout the previous week had been set up.

The man, later identified as Butters, was wielding a knife.

According to the Independent Investigation Office’s report, witnesses said, after being confronted by the RCMP, Butters moved toward the police with the knife in his hand and was shot to the ground.

Paramedics were then called and Butters was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest into the incident began in a Campbell River courtroom on Tuesday, Aug. 20 and heard from Hayward’s aunt Nora Hayward, a friend, public witnesses to the incident, a mental health worker, Butters’ probation officer, the RCMP officers involved in the incident, a forensic expert, an expert on RCMP use-of-force training, a prison psychologist and a pathologist.

The jury, comprised of three women and two men, were given instructions from the coroner conducting the inquest, Lyn Blenkinsop.

“It is your duty to consult with one another and achieve a just result,” Blenkinsop said.

Previously, Blenkinsop had said the jury’s duty is threefold:

To determine the facts as they relate to a death, specifically the identity of the deceased, how, when, where and by what means the deceased came to his death.

To make recommendations, where appropriate and supported by the evidence, that may prevent future loss of life in similar circumstances.

As a means for satisfying a community that the circumstances surrounding the death of one of its members will not be overlooked, concealed or ignored.

Blenkinsop said if the jurors feels there are no reasonable recommendations to be made, then they are free to state that. If they are going to make recommendations, she told them to base them solely on the evidence heard over the course of the hearings.

The jurors could come back with a report as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.

RELATED: Coroner’s inquest into fatal police shooting in Port Hardy begins in Campbell River

RELATED: Inquest into Port Hardy police shooting moved to Campbell River


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pair of 11-year-old Cowichan highland dancers heading to Virginia for competition

Amelia Marsh and Maya Sundstrom are excited about the possibilities

Chris Wilkinson column: Where are you on the Happiness U-Curve?

With age and maturity, the focus turns away from social competition and toward social connection.

Music trivia tournament in Duncan a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

Drivesmart column: Wet weather driving dos and don’ts

Wet pavement alone can increase stopping distances by more than 10 per cent.

Guest column: Why “Weir” Ready: with James Buchan

This is part two of a feature series by the Cowichan Watershed Board

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read