Charles Mustard guilty of murder committed 30 years ago
The photo of the defendant, Charles Mustard, was presented to the press shortly after his arrest in October 2018.
In Toronto, Charles Mustard was convicted of the unpremeditated 1993 murder of Barbara Brodkin after his trial by judge alone. His DNA eventually led to his arrest in October 2018. The judge ruled, however, that the Crown could not prove the premeditation of the murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
When arrested in 2018, Charles Mustard was charged with the premeditated murder of Barbara Brodkin in 1993. After years of fruitless investigation, his DNA finally gave him away.
The Crown and the defense of Charles Mustard had recognized from the outset that the DNA of the 69-year-old defendant had indeed been found under the fingernails of the victim, but they did not ;didn't hear about the identity of the murderer.
During the trial, the individual's defense exposed the possibility that the woman was killed by her now deceased former spouse.
41-year-old victim Barbara Brodkin was beaten, strangled and stabbed to death in the chest.
< p class="e-p">In a river judgment, Judge Brian O'Marra, of the Superior Court of Ontario, however, rejected, Friday morning, the possibility that the woman was murdered by someone other than Mr. Mustard.
Barbara Brodkin was found dead on the morning of March 19, 1993 in the apartment she shared with her six-year-old son in the Davisville neighborhood.
It was the little boy who dialed 911 when he discovered his mother's body shortly before 8 a.m.
The police then immediately went to the scene before concluding that the victim had been stabbed with a fatal blow to the chest.
Her former spouse, Christopher Berry, will remain the first suspect without however being charged with anything.
The case will remain unclassified for nearly 30 years.
Defendant Charles Mustard (left) with his lawyer Bob Richardson. Prosecutor Karen Simone presents her indictment to Judge Brian O'Marra.
The year 2018 marks a turning point in the investigation which is the subject of x27;a review in light of advances in forensic technology. This is when Charles Mustard was arrested.
Christopher Berry died in 2009, but both the Crown and the defense used, each to their advantage at trial, statements he made to police when he was the subject of ;an investigation into the murder of his son's mother.
However, the magistrate said he was convinced that Mr. Berry could not have killed his ex-spouse, even if his testimony to the police was not without blemishes.
He recalls that the man was known to have hit the victim when they were together and to have made threats against her over the custody of their son when they separated in 1991.
The judge maintains, however, that his alibi on the evening of the murder was confirmed by others.
Charles Mustard to the right of his lawyer, Bob Richardson (detail)
The judge notes, however, that the evidence of the DNA found under the fingernails of the victim is nearly infallible and that the circumstantial evidence in this case logically points the finger at the accused.
He also confirms that Barbara Brodkin defended herself with her fingernails against her attacker based on the testimony of Mr. Berry, who told the police that his ex-spouse had razor-sharp fingernails and that x27;she knew how to use violence while struggling.
The magistrate explains that he also took into account the criminal record of Charles Mustard, who was imprisoned for two thefts less than $5000, for inappropriate sexual touching, for two sexual assaults and for sexual exploitation.
The judge says he further disbelieved the sincerity of the accused's testimony in the witness box.
The hallway leading to the victim's apartment located at 155 Balliol Street in Toronto.
< p class="e-p">The Crown charged Charles Mustard with killing Barbara Brodkin to steal drugs and money from him, because he was jobless and penniless in March 1993.
She asserted that the accused used marijuana every day and that his addiction was costing him dearly. #x27;was able to prove premeditation beyond a reasonable doubt and that the theft is not sufficient grounds to necessarily justify a charge of premeditated murder.
There is also no evidence that the victim was kidnapped before being killed. However, this aspect could have been sufficient to confirm the premeditation, specifies the judge.
In the event that his client was found guilty, the defense of Charles Mustard argued that the murder could not have been premeditated, because the victim was not confined or sequestered before being killed.
She had said that there is also no trace of a struggle in the closet of the bedroom where the victim's body was found.
There is no Finally, there is no proof either, according to her, that money or drugs were stolen from the closet.
The magistrate will have given him reason.< /p>
With this guilty verdict, the bond that had allowed Charles Mustard to be free since his arrest in 2018 is revoked.
Mr. Mustard is automatically sentenced to 25 years in prison. All that remains for the magistrate to do is to set the year in which he will be eligible for parole.
The Crown and the defense will have to present their position on this subject during sentencing hearing on March 13.
More details to come.