Supreme Court reserves judgment in manslaughter case

Appeal heard for two Nanaimo men ordered to stand new trial

Two Nanaimo brothers who were charged with manslaughter following a 2006 bar fight had their appeal of a B.C. Court of appeal decision heard by Canada’s highest court last week.

Timothy and Matthew Maybin, as well as Buddha Gains, who worked as a bouncer in the now-closed Grizzly Bar, were found not guilty in 2008 of manslaughter in the death of Michael Brophy, 20.

Brophy died Oct. 21, 2006 following a fight that broke out at the Grizzly Bar hours before.

The Crown appealed the manslaughter acquittals and in 2010, a 2-1 B.C. Court of Appeal decision ordered a new trial for the Maybin brothers. All three judges upheld the trial judge’s decision to acquit Gains.

The brothers appealed that decision and a panel of Supreme Court of Canada justices heard the case on Dec. 15. Judgment on the case is reserved.

In his Sept. 26, 2008 oral verdict, B.C. Supreme Court Judge Douglas Halfyard was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that all three accused participated in an assault against Brophy and that both Timothy Maybin and Gains caused bodily harm to Brophy and knew their actions would have done so.

But Halfyard said it was not proven who struck the fatal blow or whether the three men acted in concert with each other. He recommended the Crown pursue a new charge of assault causing bodily harm.

Two of the three B.C. Court of Appeal panel judges ruled the trial judge erred in law in limiting his analysis to a determination of the medical cause of death.