A Prince Albert jury has convicted Orren Johnson and Jordan Herron of murdering 17-year-old Clayton Bear.
They opted to convict Orren Johson on the highest charge, first-degree murder, which carries a sentence of life without parole for 25 years. Jordan Herron was found guilty of second-degree murder, where parole ineligibility can vary between 10 and 25 years.
Justice Kalmakoff will impose Herron’s sentence on Thursday.
Clayton Bear died of a gunshot wound on the morning of April 14, 2014, after he was shot through the liver at 596 27 Street East, in Prince Albert. Two key witnesses said they saw Herron and Johnson rush into the house. From there, accounts differed, but one witness said she saw Johnson run toward a bedroom where Bear was resting, followed by the sound of gunshots.
Throughout the trial, the defence challenged the credibility of those witnesses. One was Herron’s girlfriend at the time, and both admitted to being severely intoxicated at the time of the shooting. The defence also pointed out numerous inconsistencies in their stories from one statement to the next.
But the jury, apparently, believed them. They may also have been swayed by testimony from neighbours who saw a man resembling Jordan Herron – a blonde, Caucasian male – around the house at the time of the shooting. The Crown also constructed a theory of Herron’s motive, claiming he sought revenge after his girlfriend left to party with Bear.
Prosecutor Jeff Lubyk called the shooting a crime of “jealousy and bravado.”
Johnson’s lawyer, Lisa Trach, said that she was “disappointed” in the verdict and that her client will consider an appeal.
For more on this story, please see the Feb. 16 print or e-edition of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.