R Daniel needed no introduction today as he shared with us the 'Strange Case of Gordon Willmen'.
Gordon was in his late 50's in 2003 and living in an old house with a long driveway on Old Wooler Road. Gordon had a checkered past and criminal record when he took in two people, Darlene Quick and Barry Phillips. 
Gordon's brother hadn't seen him for few days so went looking for him and when he didn't find him he reported him missing. The police searched the home and found Gordon's body is a shallow grave near a fire pit. Gordon had been shot and a search was then made for Darlene and Barry who were found at a campground in the Orillia area.
Barry was in the Lindsay Jail on 1st degree murder charges and he called Daniel to defend him. Daniel had represented Barry's wife in the past. Legal aid was approved for Barry. Daniel had won previous cases involving murder.
Barry told his story: he and Darlene had been evicted from their place in Trenton and Darlene knew Gordon so arranged to stay with Gordon for a few months.
Gordon was not supposed to have any firearms as part of his parole. However, he did have a rifle at his place and kept it loaded apparently due to recent threats to himself.
After Barry and Darlene had been staying with Gordon, Gordon had ideas about his relationship with Darlene she did not agree with. So one day when Gordon returned, she met him in the driveway with Gordon's rifle. Gordon never got out of his truck and somehow the gun went off and Gordon was shot and killed. Barry watched everything from the house. Darlene didn't know the gun was loaded.
They buried Gord's body and disappeared to Niagara Falls for a couple days, then returned and took some camping things and left again. Camping in Orillia they were recognized and arrested.
Daniel said there were books of witness statements in a case like this and lots of interest from the press. A preliminary inquiry was held in Brighton that concluded there was sufficient evidence to go to trial which it did in Cobourg. The charge was 1st degree murder which requires there was a plan to commit murder but the case was week. The crown's position was that Barry was part of the planning. But Barry said there was no plan, it just happened.
It was to be a trial by jury.
In the middle of the trial, the judge got another judge involved and through legal consultation, Darlene's charges were reduced to 2nd degree murder (no plan or intent) and Barry's charged were reduced to manslaughter (he was an accessory after the fact). Both Darlene and Barry agreed to the facts in writing and accepted responsibility to the lesser charges.
The case took couple years to take its course from July 2003 to 2006.
R Daniel commented on the fatefull decisions that we make at times.