Skip to content

Ibrahim Ali jury wants clear definition of murder, manslaughter

Jury deliberating in the 2017 Burnaby death of 13-year-old girl
The Law Courts building, which is home to B.C. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, is seen in Vancouver, on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023. A British Columbia Supreme Court jury has retired to deliberate in the first-degree murder trial of Ibrahim Ali, more than eight months after he pleaded not guilty to killing a 13-year-old girl in a Metro Vancouver park in 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Members of a B.C. Supreme Court jury have asked the judge in the Ibrahim Ali murder trail for a clearer definition of the differences between manslaughter and first- and second-degree murder.

The question came shortly after the jury began its deliberations in the first-degree murder trial of Ali, who’s accused of killing a 13-year-old girl in a Burnaby park more than six years ago.

Justice Lance Bernard has prepared a two-page answer he planned to give the jury Friday after both the Crown and defence had a chance to view the response.

The jury began deliberating late Thursday after what was scheduled to be a three-month trial stretched into its ninth month.

Some details of the case can only now be reported because the jury is sequestered, including that Ali’s defence team received threats, with lawyer Kevin McCullough reading out one that said his family faced “a violent and brutal death” before Christmas.

On Friday, McCullough told the court he had just “just received a litany of death threats” including ones he called “imminent.” He asked the judge to move the hearing to a more secure courtroom

Bernard told jurors in his final submissions on Thursday that the case against Ali is circumstantial, requiring them to infer that Ali raped and strangled the girl in Burnaby’s Central Park in July 2017.

Bernard said Ali’s lawyers argued in the alternative that there could be an “innocent explanation” for semen matching Ali’s DNA being found inside the girl as a result of an earlier encounter, and someone else later killed her and dumped the body in the park.

The girl can’t be named due to a publication ban.

READ ALSO: Ali jury deliberates after B.C. trial marked by hallucinations and threats