Travis Patron found guilty of two counts of assault
A jury has found Travis Patron, former leader of the Canadian Nationalist Party, guilty on two counts of assault causing bodily harm.
Patron assaulted two Regina teachers in the 1900 block of Victoria Avenue on Nov. 2, 2019.
It took about 90 minutes for the jurors to reach a unanimous decision.
A sentencing hearing for Patron is scheduled for July 20th. Patron plans to represent himself.
PATRON CLOSING ARGUMENTS
Court heard closing arguments in the trial of Travis Patron, a former leader of the Canadian Nationalist Party.
Jury deliberations began on Thursday afternoon.
Patron faces two counts of assault causing bodily harm. He allegedly assaulted two Regina teachers in the 1900 block of Victoria Avenue on Nov. 2, 2019.
Patron, representing himself, addressed the jury during his closing remarks, which is the most court has heard from him after he declined to cross examine two of the crown’s three witnesses. He also declined to testify himself or submit any evidence.
Patron began his remarks by stating the indictment against him is “manifesting without merit and destined to fail.”
“My submission is multi-faceted, but I’ve consolidated it into a single faith-based argument,” Patron told the jury.
Patron’s address to the jury referenced the Queen, a religious text, the bible and a verse from Deuteronomy.
He argued the court fails to recognize him as a defense lawyer, which prevents him from making his case.
Shortly after he started his remarks, the judge interrupted Patron. She eventually dismissed the jury to speak with the accused.
All discussions between the judge, the crown and Patron are under a publication ban.
In the second half of his closing statement, Patron poked holes in the crown’s witness testimony from Regina Police Service Cst. Jessica McBride.
Patron argued that Cst. McBride did not witness the altercation and questioned why the officer did not detain the suspect the night of the alleged assault. He told the jury that McBride “falsely testified” that the suspect was wearing a black jacket, and she “departed from impartiality” by transporting the alleged victims to the hospital in her squad car.
The judge interrupted a second time while the jury was present to remind him to refrain from speaking about matters that are not evidence when Patron began discussing jury selection.
“That is not appropriate and it is unlawful,” the judge told him.
Patron ended his remarks by asking for forgiveness on both counts.
“To forget is human, but to forgive is divine. Be willing to forgive,” he told the jury before sitting down.
CROWN CLOSING ARGUMENTS
Crown prosecutor Ryan Snyder asked the jury to find Patron guilty on both charges during his closing remarks.
The alleged victims, Amanda Ruschiensky and Allison Tokarz, both testified they went out for drinks at Victoria’s Tavern following a tribute concert at the casino. They said they met Patron at the bar.
At the end of the night, the women told court, they were outside Ruschiensky’s friend’s apartment building waiting for a ride home when Patron approached them on the street.
He offered them a ride home, the women testified. After repeatedly declining his offer, Ruschiensky said Patron “shushed” her.
“Nobody shushes me,” Ruschiensky said to him.
At that point Patron smacked her in the head, Ruschiensky testified.
Ruschiensky ushered Tokarz into the apartment building foyer, following a couple that had let themselves in with a key card, she said.
During closing remarks, Snyder once again played surveillance video of inside the apartment building foyer that showed the alleged assault. He told the jury the video is an “important” piece of evidence.
The video shows two women entering the foyer. When one goes to leave, a man walks inside and knocks one of the women to the ground and grabs the other. He hits both of them again before walking out of the building.
Snyder said the entire assault happened in less than one minute.
The surveillance tape matches the events that both Ruschiensky and Tokarz described in their testimony.
The crown submitted a phone call and screenshots of text messages sent to Ruschiensky as evidence, showing Patron’s attempts to apologize to Ruschiensky for the assault.
Ruschiensky suffered a concussion from the assault, she testified. Tokarz broke her right wrist. Both women testified they have suffered from emotional stress since the alleged assault.
During the judge’s instructions to the jury, she asked the jurors to disregard some of Patron’s claims in his closing statement.
She clarified that Patron was given “ample opportunity” to cross examine the alleged victims and told the jury that the crown has not acted “maliciously” like Patron claimed in his remarks.
The judge told the jurors that it is not their job to “forgive” Patron, but rather it is their duty to be the judge of the facts in the case.
The jurors began deliberating on Thursday afternoon. They will be sequestered until a verdict is reached.
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