Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Halifax Medical Student Committed Murder in Bid to Alleviate Debt Load: Crown

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Halifax Medical Student Committed Murder in Bid to Alleviate Debt Load: Crown

Article excerpt

Med student killed to ease debt load: Crown

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Halifax medical student William Sandeson lured Taylor Samson to his apartment and shot him in the back of the head during a drug deal as part of a scheme to alleviate his debt, a Crown lawyer argued Tuesday.

Sandeson is charged with the first-degree murder of Samson, a 22-year-old Dalhousie University student whose body has never been found.

The jury trial has heard Samson went to Sandeson's apartment on Aug. 15, 2015 to sell him nine kilograms of marijuana for $40,000.

But in her closing arguments Tuesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Crown lawyer Kim McOnie suggested Sandeson never intended to buy the drugs -- he planned to steal them.

"We suggest that Mr. Sandeson hashed a plan to alleviate some of his financial difficulties. He lured Mr. Samson to his apartment," McOnie told the jury, adding the Crown believes Samson was shot in the back of the head while seated at Sandeson's kitchen table.

"Taylor Samson had no clue what he was walking into to."

McOnie noted Sandeson, 24, told police three different versions of what happened that evening, including one version in which two men in morph suits busted into the kitchen to scare Samson out of drug dealing.

She suggested none of those versions are true. McOnie said Sandeson repeatedly changed his story to fit the information police confronted him with, and that evidence presented at the trial disproves each of his versions.

She argued the totality of the evidence points to one person: Sandeson.

"This is not a Hollywood film, where masked invaders or morph-suited intruders bust in through a window, shoot someone and take the body with them. This is reality," McOnie told the jury, urging them to find Sandeson guilty of first-degree murder.

"We believe Mr. Sandeson dragged Taylor down to the bathroom, that he somehow dealt with his remains in a way that he was able to fit them into a bag. …

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