James Lee Busch guilty of first-degree murder

About 24 hours after receiving the order, a jury found James Lee Busch guilty of first-degree murder in the July 2019 killing of a man at his home on Vancouver Island.

The trial of the two defendants began a month ago but took an abrupt turn when the judge recommended that one of the men be placed alone.

Bush’s co-defendant, Zachary Armitage, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder midway through his trial, a fact that was not made public while Bush’s trial was ongoing.

The statement of facts agreed between the defense and the Crown stated that Bush and Armitage escape from william hyde college July 7th in Metchosin.

The two men participated in the murder the next day at the Metchosin home of 60-year-old Martin Payne, officials said.

The two men will now be sentenced separately at a later date.

Neither defendant testified during the four-week trial.

In presenting its case in most of the cases it has publicly acknowledged, officials have called numerous witnesses, including DNA experts, blood spatter analysts and pathologists.

In closing remarks, Busch’s attorney, Ryan Drury, told the jury they should consider three possible scenarios, each of which would allow for a reasonable doubt of his client’s guilt.

The first possibility, Drewry said, is that Bush was not at Payne’s home at the time of the killing.

The second possibility he raises is that Bush was at home but not involved in Payne’s forcible confinement and murder.

For the third case, Drury suggested that the jury should consider the possibility that Busch was there, but that his involvement in an attempt to clean up the crime scene was his only involvement.

Crossing gave final instructions to the jury on Tuesday afternoon before they began their deliberations.

Using a file from Ben Miljure of CTV News Vancouver

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