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Judge hears closing arguments in Thauberger murder trial


The Court of King's Bench heard closing arguments in the trail of Joseph Thauberger for the first degree murder of his brother Patrick in September of 1997.

Defense lawyer Tyne Hagey opened up arguments stating that the accused is granted the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

She said that based on the evidence presented to the court, a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that Joseph Thauberger murdered his brother Patrick on Sept. 3 1997 cannot be reached.

Hagey argued that he must “satisfy and meet the burden” of first degree murder, and that the evidence presented, the testimony heard and even the undercover police confession could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was premeditated murder.

She argued that manslaughter cannot be supported by the facts in this case, and that Joseph’s actions based on his in court testimony there was no intentional killing, no preconceived plan.

Arguing that if the court does not find Joseph’s testimony preconceived plan would have a more thought out burial of the deceased’s body, rather than what she called a reaction out of ‘panic, embarrassment or fear.’

She argued that the ownership on the truck was never proven to be Joseph’s, that there were no physical characteristic that the examiner could conclude how Patrick died and that no DNA or blood was found on the tiles taken from the kitchen.

Hagey further argued that Barbara Hayes’ testimony should be questioned given the lapse of memories over three years from the incident, on the day of and the days following the incident.

“She [Barbara] didn’t put to paper or tell anyone for 15 years,” argued Hagey, questioning the reliability of her memories.

She did admit to Hayes’ trauma from the events of Sept. 3, 1997, but stated that trauma could also embellish her recollection

Hagey argued Hayes was not upstairs, there are gaps in her testimony of her involvement, and what Hayes said about the gauge in the kitchen cupboard door.

“It’s most striking when Barbara saw the picture with the gauge, she conceded that it was two point five inches long, not 6 like she described saying, ‘I guess it grew in my head.’”

She concluded by saying Joseph was steadfast in his testimony, despite a day and a half of questioning by the Crown.

“No motive exists unless we’re grasping at straws, or draw conclusions that aren’t based on the reality of the evidence we have.”


Co-Crown prosecutor, Andrew Campbell countered that the evidence does support the first degree murder charge against the accused.

He stated he agreed with Hagey that the charge of indecency to human remains is uncontroversial, but that Joseph Thauberger’s in court testimony was a falsity.

Campbell argued that not only has Joseph given three separate accounts of what happened on Sept. 3 1997, he held the truth from family, friends and police for 23 years.

He argued about the inconsistencies in Joseph’s testimony that at one point Joseph and Patrick were best friends, but at another point told his now ex-wife, Barbara Hayes that he was having issues with Patrick and that “Patrick was a problem.”

During the undercover operation, Campbell argued that Joseph was never told to admit to a crime by the undercover agent, and that Jospeh even conceded on the stand that a vast majority of what he told the cop was true.

He continued by arguing Joseph not only gave explicit details and a violent re-enactment of the murder of his brother, but also brought the undercover cop to the burial site.

Campbell argues for first degree murder as Joseph is on tape saying it was premeditated and explaining to the police officer what premeditation means.

He argued Joseph murdered his brother Patrick in the first degree because “it was planned and delivered” and explained in an unprompted confession that it was planned.

He further added that both James and Barbara’s testimonies represent that as they both state that Patrick and Joseph were having trouble getting along.

He argued Joseph is not a credible witness as he lied to his family and the police – saying he dropped Patrick off at the bus station, had a phone call with him shortly after, and even went so far as to submit a missing persons statement after 13 days.

He also added that Joseph knowingly committed fraud by paying for an insurance policy, where he was the beneficiary, without reporting the insuree was deceased.

Then he called into question the ‘mystery man’ who Joseph hired to bury the body of his brother, who still has no name and cannot corroborate the story. Further pulling into question Joseph trusting a stranger with his secret he kept for 23 years.

On top of that, Campbell added it made no sense that a man with the fear of god in him spent nine hours and had two meals with his brother’s body dead in the house.

Campbell questioned why he left his brother dying for 5 minutes, when he had a capable adult in the house who could have called for help.

He questioned what device Joseph used to hold the body down in the slough, as during cross examination he changed the answer every time.

Questioning his reliability, Campbell asked why he was so certain about specific details, like the fact the undercover cop gave him $80, when video shows $60, but certain other details he could not remember because they would contradict his testimony.

In closing, Campbell argued that there is enough to convict Joseph Thauberger of First Degree Murder based on the confession to the undercover cop and the corroboration of events by Barbara Hayes, who Joseph deemed a saint on the stand a number of times.

The judge will render a decision at the Court of King’s Bench on July 27th at 2 p.m. Top Stories

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