Jury begins deliberations on murder charge today

A jury of five men and six women was today given the task of deciding whether a Consort-area rancher who gunned down his younger brother is guilty of murder.

A jury of five men and six women was today given the task of deciding whether a Consort-area rancher who gunned down his younger brother is guilty of murder.

John Wayne Mock, 36, was arrested for second-degree murder after calling 911 at 9:04 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2012, to report that his brother ­— 33-year-old Timothy James Mock — had just been shot.

In their final arguments in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday, lawyers for the Crown and defence gave their positions on how the jury should interpret evidence put before them since Nov. 12, when the trial was opened.

Crown prosecutor Anders Quist offered the jury four options for Mock’s fate: He can be found guilty of either second-degree murder or manslaughter, or he can be found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder. He can also be acquitted if the jury believes the shooting was an accident.

Pointing to Mock’s history of mental illness, defence counsel Darren Mahoney said there is no doubt that the man was suffering a mental disorder at the time of the shooting and urged the jury to find him not criminally responsible.

He pointed to police interviews played during the trial as well as various reports and assessments completed since Mock’s arrest as evidence of his mental state.

“These are signs of someone having a mental breakdown. There’s no other way to look at it,” said Mahoney.

John Mock had no reason to want to kill the brother described for the court as someone he deeply loved.

“Why would you perform CPR on someone you wanted dead?” he said.

Quist argued that, although Mock had been diagnosed with mental health issues years earlier and was under a great deal of stress, the breakdown did not occur until immediately after the shooting, when he realized he had done something he could not undo.

He said the shots were fired as the result of a physical dispute, with Timothy Mock fleeing into the bedroom. It was at that point that John Mock took the revolver out of his pocket and fired, said Quist.

Evidence that Mock thought he was shooting a clone doesn’t wash, he said, partly because Mock didn’t raise that issue until May, three months after the shooting.

At the time of the incident, Mock told the 911 dispatch centre that his brother had been shot and made no mention of a clone, said Quist.

It is highly likely that the confused and highly agitated state Mock was in when police found him at 10:20 p.m. arose from a concussion he probably suffered after bolting from the house, tripping over an ATV in the yard and crashing his car through the side of the woodshed.

Addressing the possibility that the shooting was either accidental or unintentional, Quist said that might work had there been only one shot fired. However, forensic evidence from the scene showed that Timothy Mock was shot once, and then turned around and took two more bullets.

Justice Kirk Sisson was to give his instructions to the jury this morning, with deliberations to begin after lunch.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com