Canada
Newfoundland man killed roommate in Edmonton over kitchen mess

Victim Jamie Vickers, 35. Crown prosecutor Shelley Bykewich said in and Edmonton Alta., court that William John Tubrett, 49, strangled Jamie Vickers (his boss) in their rental home in southeast Edmonton on Dec. 29, 2011.

Credits: Court released photo

TONY BLAIS | QMI AGENCY

EDMONTON — A Newfoundland and Labrador man was convicted of manslaughter by an Edmonton jury on Thursday for strangling his roommate in a drunken fight over a messy kitchen.

Bill Tubrett, 48, had been charged with second-degree murder for the Dec. 29, 2011, slaying of Jamie Vickers, 35, at an Edmonton home, but the jury arrived at a guilty verdict on the lesser offence after 10 hours of deliberation.

As a result of a surprising slip by the jury foreperson — which gave a rare insight into the secret deliberations — court heard the jurors "didn't think it was self-defence."

A sentencing hearing is slated for Friday.

The Crown alleged Tubrett put Vickers in a headlock and choked him to death after Vickers angrily confronted him about tossing his roast and gravy all over the kitchen windows, walls and counter and punching holes in walls.

Tubrett took the witness stand in his own defence and denied that he had killed Vickers.

He told the jury he woke up on a basement couch being "pummelled" by Vickers and said he was able to get away after they ended up on the floor and he slid under him.

He admitted grabbing onto some part of Vickers during the struggle, saying he was "trying to protect himself" and "hanging on for dear life," but testified he doesn't recall grabbing him by the neck or exactly what happened.

Tubrett also said that he saw Vickers snoring and then trying to get up a short time after their struggle.

A third roommate, Paul Gill, has testified he saw Vickers angrily go to the basement to confront Tubrett about the gravy mess and then went down himself and saw Vickers "on his knees and Bill with his hands on his neck."

Gill told court he told Tubrett to let Vickers go and said that Tubrett released Vickers after having held him in a headlock for several minutes and Vickers slid to the floor.

Gill, 46, said he saw Tubrett punch Vickers in the face and kick him in the back.

Tubrett said it was Gill who had jumped on Vickers and kicked him.

Gill and Tubrett then drove to Fort McMurray, Alta., in Vickers' truck.

Gill was arrested two days later and charged with murder. He later pleaded guilty to stealing the truck and the murder charge was withdrawn.

The jury also heard that Tubrett, Vickers and Gill had come from Newfoundland to Alberta to frame houses.

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