William Sandeson found guilty of first-degree murder in death of Taylor Samson
Published Sunday, June 18, 2017 12:03PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 21, 2017 7:44AM ADT
Medical student William Sandeson has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Taylor Samson.
Sandeson was charged in connection with the disappearance of Samson, a fellow Dalhousie University student whose body has never been found.
The verdict was reached Sunday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court just before noon after 22 hours of deliberations.
Cheers and sobs were heard in the courtroom following the verdict.
“Turn around and take a bow, Billy,” Samson’s mother, Linda Boutilier yelled as Sandeson left the courtroom.
The trial has heard Samson went to Sandeson's apartment on Aug. 15, 2015, to sell him nine kilograms of marijuana for $40,000.
The jury heard Samson was last seen alive on video walking into Sandeson's apartment shortly before 10:30 p.m. Samson was reported missing the next day and hasn’t been seen since.
Outside of court, Samson’s family said they could finally sleep soundly now that a verdict has been reached.
“It’s about time,” Boutilier said. “I always had it in my mind that (Sandeson) was guilty.”
Defence lawyer Eugene Tan would not say whether Sandeson will appeal the conviction.
“I tend not to talk about an appeal right now,” Tan said. “There is a family upstairs that’s very emotional and I’m going to respect the jury, first of all for their privacy, and I’m going to respect the family’s feelings.”
A GoFundMe page has recently been launched in an effort to locate Samson. Boutilier says she will continue to search for her son until he is found.
“I want my son back,” she said. “I’m going looking after this trial and I’m going to find my son. If (Sandeson) doesn’t want to help us, then fine. I’ll find him on my own.”
Formal sentencing and victim impact statements will be heard on July 11 at 9:30 a.m. First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence without eligibility for parole for 25 years.
Jury now verifying verdict - Guilty of First Degree Murder. Connor Sampson leaning on Mother.— Bruce Frisko (@BruceFriskoCTV) June 18, 2017
Judge thanks jury, releases them.— Bruce Frisko (@BruceFriskoCTV) June 18, 2017
Taylor's friends weeping openly.— Bruce Frisko (@BruceFriskoCTV) June 18, 2017
Sentencing delayed, although there's automatic life sentence w/ no parole for 25 years.— Bruce Frisko (@BruceFriskoCTV) June 18, 2017
Victim Impact Statements to be filed. Court Expected to return week of July 11th, 9:30 AM.— Bruce Frisko (@BruceFriskoCTV) June 18, 2017