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(Posted 7:30 a.m., Feb. 20)
Lawyers make final arguments in Scott Ledoux stabbing death trial
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The jury will begin deliberating today in an effort to determine a verdict in the March 18th stabbing death of Orléans resident Scott Ledoux. Ben Taylor is facing a second degree murder charge. File photo


Depending on whose version of events you believe the an accused of stabbing 22-year-old Scott Ledoux to death at a St. Patrick's Day Party last year was either trying to protect himself from a savage beating, or out to inflict maximum damage on an uninvited party-crasher.

During his closing statement to the five-member jury, defence lawyer Patrick McCann said his client, Ben Taylor, felt he had no choice but to try and fend Ledoux off with a steak knife when he was getting rained down with blows from the bigger man.

Witnesses testified that the two men got into a fist fight when Taylor asked Ledoux to leave his Cousineau Street basement apartment shortly after midnight on March 18.

At one point Ledoux, who was four years older than Taylor, got on top of him and was repeatedly punching him in the face and head when Taylor reached into his pocket for the knife and stabbed him several times in the side.

“He used the only means that were available to him to defend himself, the knife,” said McCann. “He didn’t have to sit there getting pounded and pounded and pounded and hope he escaped with his life. He’s entitled to use whatever force is necessary to repel the attack.”

Taylor, now 20, testified he never wanted to kill Ledoux and jabbed the knife blindly, terrified and just wanting the blows to stop.

But Crown Attorney Robert Wadden painted a different picture of the circumstances leading up to the stabbing. He argued Taylor, who had been drinking and was angry that Ledoux had crashed the party and trashed his apartment, retrieved the knife from the kitchen determined to use it if Ledoux didn't leave.

One witness testified to hearing Taylor say he was going to get Ledoux, another that he’d stab him if he didn’t get out and a third that he’d do something he’d regret if the party-crashers didn't leave.

Wadden argued that Taylor stabbed Ledoux seven times while the two men were struggling on their feet, not on the ground as some witness have testified.

“Ben Taylor had no reasonable basis for thinking this unarmed man -- this drunk, unarmed man -- was going to kill him or cause him any injury beyond bruises and scratches,” Wadden said. “Anyone would know that stabbing a man in the chest four times with a knife this big is likely to cause his death,”

One of the stab wounds pierced Ledoux's heart, killing him within minutes.

The jury is expected to begin deliberations today.

 

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