Author Topic: Leslie Ronald Hankel (52) - March 3, 2010 - MURDER  (Read 2274 times)


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Leslie Ronald Hankel (52) - March 3, 2010 - MURDER
« on: March 06, 2012, 11:52:10 AM »

Victoria murder case moving through court system
By Erin McCracken - Victoria News
Published: January 31, 2012 5:00 PM
Updated: January 31, 2012 5:06 PM

The pretrial conference of two men accused of murdering a Fernwood man in 2010 is now underway in B.C. Supreme Court.

Andrew Jonathon Belcourt of Victoria was 19 years old when he was arrested by Victoria police on March 3, 2010, 18 hours after he allegedly fatally shot Leslie Ronald Hankel inside his Fernwood apartment.

Police responded to calls from witnesses who reported seeing a man carrying a shotgun in the 1200-block of Pembroke St. just after midnight on March 3.

Minutes later shots sounded. A search led officers to an apartment at 1260 Pembroke St. where they found Hankel, 52, shot dead.

It was Victoria's first homicide of 2010.

At the time of Belcourt's arrest, two other men were taken into police custody, but were later released without being charged.

Samuel Gregory McGrath was arrested eight months later on Nov. 17 in the West Shore by officers with the Vancouver Island Major Crimes Unit, the Victoria Police Department and the West Shore RCMP detachment.

The men each face charges of murder, robbery and break and enter.

McGrath was brought into B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday morning, followed by Belcourt. They were each handcuffed and shackled at the ankles.

After sitting in their separate enclosed prisoners' boxes, they glanced at each other and exchanged a quick nod at the start of the voir dire proceedings, which are protected under a publication ban.

The pretrial conference began Jan. 23 and is expected to take about five weeks, Crown counsel Peter Juk confirmed, adding that a trial has been scheduled for five to seven weeks, beginning in April.

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Re: Leslie Ronald Hankel (52) - March 3, 2010 - MURDER
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 07:28:43 AM »

New murder trial ordered over word 'accidental'

By Stefania Seccia
Monday, March 23, 2015

A B.C. man convicted of second-degree murder has been granted a new trial over consideration of the word “accidental” when the victim was shot in the face with a sawed-off shotgun.


Andrew Jonathon Belcourt was found guilty on Nov. 24, 2012, but a B.C. Court of Appeal judge set that conviction aside this month.

On March 3, 2010, Belcourt and co-accused Samuel McGrath entered Leslie Hankel’s apartment with one loaded, Ithaca 37 shotgun, with their faces disguised by masks.

The two kicked in the door with the intention of robbing Hankel because “they believed him to be a drug dealer,” the court document states.

Belcourt was holding the shotgun when it discharged and struck Hankel in the side of the face, killing him.

Belcourt testified the gun was resting on his shoulder when it discharged into the ceiling. Then he grabbed the gun in reaction and pumped it to load a shell into it when it accidentally discharged a second time and struck Hankel in the face, killing him. He had plead guilty to manslaughter at the previous trial.

Telus was then ordered to hand over text messages to the police from Belcourt’s and McGrath’s phones sent at or around the time of the offence.

Belcourt appealed the conviction and disputed the way in which police obtained the private communications from Telus, which were used as evidence that led to his guilty verdict.

While Justice Pamela Kirkpatrick ruled that Belcourt’s privacy rights weren’t breached, she still granted the new trial due to the jury’s consideration over the application of the word “accidental” in relation to the discharged firearm.

“In the case at bar, Belcourt’s evidence that he did not believe the safety was off, his unfamiliarity with the weapon, and his lack of knowledge as to the weapon’s slam-fire feature were obviously important matters for the jury to consider when determining whether or not he had the subjective knowledge that his actions were likely to cause death,” she states in her ruling.