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Hamilton paramedic had ‘honest’ belief that teen was shot with BB gun: lawyer

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Hamilton paramedic had ‘honest’ belief that teen was shot with BB gun: lawyer

A lawyer representing one of two former Hamilton paramedics accused in the death of a 19-year-old says his client believed the teen had only suffered a superficial wound from a BB gun.

Christopher Marchant and Steven Snively are each charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life in their response to the shooting that killed Yosif Al-Hasnawi in December 2017. They have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege the pair failed to follow their training and the standards of their profession in assessing Al-Hasnawi, who had in fact been shot with a handgun.

The teen died in hospital roughly an hour later.

Lawyer Jeffrey Manishen, who represents Marchant, said in closing submissions today that simple negligence is not enough for a criminal conviction – the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the paramedics’ actions were a “marked departure” from their duty under the circumstances.

He says the information Marchant received from first responders at the scene, and from bystanders including one witness, supported a belief that Al-Hasnawi had been shot with a BB or pellet gun.

He further argues Marchant found the injury didn’t look as serious as other BB gun wounds he had previously seen, and he didn’t see any blood.

The judge-alone trial is taking place by videoconference. A defence lawyer representing Snively is expected to make his submissions Thursday, followed by the Crown.

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