Jury finds Zerr, Lavallee guilty of manslaughter
Ronald Zerr, left, and Ashton Lavallee are seen leaving Court of Queen's Bench in Regina on Dec. 11.
Published Monday, December 10, 2012 1:33PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 12, 2012 2:00PM CST
A jury has found two men guilty of manslaughter in a fatal stabbing outside a bar in north Regina.
Ronald Zerr and Ashton Lavallee were accused in the February 2008 death of Albert Lowenberger in the parking lot of the King’s Head Tavern.
On Wednesday, jurors acquitted Zerr of second-degree murder and found the two men not guilty of aggravated assault in the alleged stabbing of Lowenberger’s friend, Kelly Charbonneau.
However, the two were convicted of a second count of aggravated assault against the victim’s twin brother, Robert Lowenberger, in addition to being found guilty of manslaughter.
Relatives of Albert Lowenberger wept after the verdict was read. Outside the courthouse, the victim’s older brother, Theo Lowenberger, told reporters he was in disbelief that the jury didn’t convict Zerr of murder.
Lawyers for the both the Crown and the defence said they were also disappointed by the verdict, and that they are mulling an appeal.
Court heard conflicting testimony about who started the fight at the bar that night and what happened during the scuffle.
Lowenberger and Charbonneau testified that the two accused started stabbing them as soon as they stepped outside the King’s Head Tavern.
But Zerr and Lavallee took the stand other three men attacked them, and both denied bringing knives to the bar.
Zerr said he picked up a knife that he claimed had fallen from Charbonneau’s jacket and stabbed the victim to stop him from assaulting Lavallee. He maintained he never intended to kill Lowenberger, who suffered a stab wound to his heart.
Sentencing arguments are scheduled for Dec. 18.