Burnaby man awaits fate in pub death trial

A verdict in a manslaughter trial for a Burnaby man is expected to be handed down in March.

After three more days of testimony in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster last week, all submissions by Crown and defence are complete, according to Crown counsel David Simpkin.

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Franco Douglas Sarra, a graduate of South Delta Secondary now living in Burnaby, is facing a manslaughter charge in connection with the death of 53-year-old Russ Armfelt.

Armfelt was located unconscious early in the morning of Dec. 11, 2016 outside the rear of the Rose & Crown Pub. Despite efforts by paramedics to revive him, he later died.

Crown called nine civilian witnesses to the stand during a week-plus of testimony last fall. The witnesses provided testimony about the night in question and observations of the altercation outside the pub that led to Armfelt’s death.

The case was adjourned on Nov. 4 due to the unavailability of a key Crown witness – a forensic pathologist - who was unable to testify as he was recovering from a surgical procedure.

The forensic pathologist took the stand on Jan. 14, followed by Sarra in his own defence on Jan. 15. Both Crown and defence presented closing arguments on Jan. 16.

The trial was adjourned until March 13 when Justice Trevor Armstrong will render his decision.


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