Man charged with first-degree murder in death of Ashley MacLean-Kearse
Published Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:40AM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:52PM ADT
A man is now facing a charge of first-degree murder after a young woman shot during a violent home invasion in November 2014 died suddenly earlier this month.
Ashley MacLean-Kearse was paralyzed as a result of the shooting in Cole Harbour, N.S., on Nov. 30, 2014. Two others were injured in the incident.
Police say MacLean-Kearse suffered a medical emergency on July 2, 2018 and died in hospital later that day.
The Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service has confirmed that the 22-year-old Cole Harbour woman died as a result of the shooting in November 2014.
Police arrested Markel Jason Downey at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility on Wednesday. In addition to the first-degree murder charge, he is facing two counts of attempted murder.
“We feel that we have a good case and one that meets the charge approval standards,” said Crown attorney Scott Morrison.
This isn’t the first time Downey has been charged in connection with the incident. He was initially charged with three counts of attempted murder and went to trial. MacLean-Kearse was a key witness at the trial.
Downey was acquitted last year, but the Crown appealed his acquittal and a new trial was ordered.
A Canada-wide warrant was issued for Downey’s arrest in April 2018 and he was arrested during a traffic stop on May 1, 2018. He has remained in custody since then.
The 22-year-old Cole Harbour man appeared in Nova Scotia Supreme Court via videolink on Thursday.
“We are proceeding directly to trial in Supreme Court and we are not going through the typical process or the usual process that begins in provincial court,” said Morrison.
The Crown plans to use MacLean-Kearse’s testimony from Downey’s first trial at his second trial. It will make an application to enter her testimony as evidence during a pre-trial hearing in January.
The trial is scheduled to take place in May and June next year.