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Joshua McCabe's manslaughter charges dropped

Back in 2018, Joshua McCabe has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter after having shot and killed a home invader. He also pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm 'reckless to life and safety.'

McCabe was at his home with friends and family when three intruders broke into the residence. Having been armed with at least two weapons, including a machete and a knife, the intruders demanded money and dope. Evidence suggests that all parties involved had been consuming either alcohol or marijuana. Shortly after, McCabe went to retrieve a rifle after his father had been beaten and stabbed in the back. Firing in their direction, one intruder, 23-year old Christopher Swanson, was hit square in the chest and died before reaching the hospital.

Defence lawyer Don Orazietti has stated that there had been little disagreement concerning the veracity of McCabe's account. "The Crown is [instead] challenging whether it is self-defence when a person is the subject of a home invasion involving three masked men with a machete and where a family member is injured," he noted.

The verdict came yesterday. "On the totality of the evidence, I conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the single shot was fired by the accused after providing a warning, and that the shot was fired by the accused for a defensive purpose," noted Superior Court Justice Edward Gareau, dismissing all charges levelled against McCabe.

McCabe's cognitive impairment, caused by a car accident in his youth, played a role in the ruling in his favour. "In my view, the mental and intellectual capabilities of the accused are also factors that the court should consider in assessing the reasonableness of the actions of the accused," Judge Gareau said.

Dallas Solomon, 24, and Branden Hartling, 27, the other two men charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit robbery and assault (among other charges), were acquitted back in 2019.

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