A B.C. Supreme Court judge has found the man arrested in connection with 2017 bludgeoning death in south Nanaimo guilty of manslaughter, but not guilty of second-degree murder.
John Albert Buchanan was charged with second-degree murder after Richard Sitar was found dead in his apartment near Nanaimo’s downtown in September 2017, but due to the dynamics between the two men, Judge Robin Baird found Buchanan guilty of the lesser charge.
The trial began Oct. 19 in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo and evidence was presented depicting Sitar as someone who bullied and abused Buchanan, including an incident in which Sitar pepper sprayed the accused at a McDonald’s restaurant on Nicol Street.
Video entered into evidence showed Buchanan entering, then leaving Sitar’s apartment the day of the incident. Expert witnesses said it appeared Sitar was beaten to death with a bat-like instrument, though such an object was never found.
The judge revoked Buchanan’s bail and he is back in custody.
A pre-sentence report has been ordered by the judge and a date for sentencing is expected to be set on March 1.
Leanne Mascolo and Catherine Hagen, co-Crown counsels, and Michael Munro, defence counsel, did not wish to comment.
More to come.