Bed Bugs Attack Jurors
A Manitoulin Island man will remain in jail after being found guilty Friday of aggravated assault in an attack that left a brother and sister with multiple stab wounds.
The eight male and four female jurors, who were polled, were unanimous in their decision.
In doing so, they cleared Darrell Bebonang of attempting to murder the siblings.
Assistant Crown attorney Karen Lische said she would like an assessment done on Bebonang so she can consider an application to declare him a dangerous offender.
Court was told Bebonang's defence team of Terry Waltenbury and John Saftic will need to check into whether they can continue as his counsel if the Crown proceeds with a dangerous offender application.
As a result, the matter was put over to July 6.
"There are steps we must take to seek appeal to be included in that process," Waltenbury told Superior Court Justice Dan Cornell.
According to Public Safety Canada, the dangerous offender designation is intended to protect the public from the most dangerous violent and sexual predators in the country. The designation can carry an indefinite prison sentence.
The jury began its deliberations Thursday afternoon. The jurors were sequestered in a city hotel overnight Thursday after failing to reach a verdict, but two of them had to be treated at hospital Friday morning for bedbug bites.
As a result, jury deliberations did not resume until after the lunch break Friday.
Bebonang, 34, of M'Chigeeng First Nation, was facing two counts of attempted murder in the stabbing of Michael Debassige and his sister Sheila Laford in a Louis Street apartment in Greater Sudbury about 1:30 a.m. Nov. 13, 2009.
Bebonang was arrested in Toronto about two weeks after the incident and returned to Greater Sudbury. He is in custody.
Bebonang was convicted of aggravated assault for the attack on Debassige.
Bebonang inflicted 12 stab wounds on Debassige and four on Laford, while receiving no injuries himself in the scuffle.
Debassige testified he was going to leave the friend's apartment when Bebonang stabbed him in the chest and continued to stab him repeatedly as they struggled.
Laford testified she went to the aid of her unarmed brother ad was stabbed once in the chest. At the hospital, doctors found Laford had been stabbed four times. She spent three days recovering from her injuries, which included a collapsed lung.
In his defence, Bebonang testified it was Debassige who attacked him. He said during a scuffle in which his hoody and sweaters were pulled over his head, a knife fell to the floor. Bebonang said he grabbed it, opened it and slashed repeatedly at Debassige and an unknown attacker, who turned out to be Laford, in an attempt to defend himself.
Bebonang, who has served time in penitentiary, was serving an 18-month house arrest sentence when the incident occurred.
In addition to being sentenced on the aggravated assault conviction, which could evolve into a dangerous offender application by the Crown, Bebonang also has some minor charges before the courts to resolve.
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