Sudbury News: Liam Stinson guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in Sudbury firebombing

The jury that decided the fate of a man responsible for a fatal firebombing in Sudbury found him guilty of three counts of first-degree murder Friday afternoon.

After a six-week trial, the jury was tasked with deciding whether Liam Stinson, 27, was guilty of manslaughter in the three deaths or first-degree murder.

Stinson, a fentanyl drug dealer, admitted that he ordered men to throw Molotov cocktails at a Bruce Avenue home on April 11, 2021, at 4:40 a.m., and start a fire inside the kitchen.

Sleeping inside were Jamie-Lynn Rose, Stinson’s estranged girlfriend, David Cheff, another drug dealer who lived in the house, Guy Henri and Jasmine Somers.

Henri and Somers lived with Cheff, as did Rose, who recently moved there after ending her “toxic” relationship with Stinson.

While Stinson admitted to manslaughter in the case, Crown attorney Kaely Whillans and Crown assistant Alanya Jay set out to prove that Stinson planned to kill Rose in the firebombing and was therefore guilty. of murder in the first degree.

The Crown had to prove that in planning the bombing, Stinson intended to kill or cause harm so serious that death was likely to be the result.

He was also found guilty of arson causing bodily harm to Cheff, the only person to survive the attack.

Stinson’s attorney, Joseph Wilkinson, argued that his client did not intend to kill anyone when he ordered the two men to bomb the residence and did not call witnesses in his defense.

The case offered a close look at drug trafficking in the city, both the people who sell them and those who use them. Multiple drug addict witnesses who had difficulty remembering the events were admitted. Some even changed their testimony at trial compared to what they said in previous hearings.

Three people died in the April 11, 2021 arson: Jasmine Marie-Claire Somers, left, Jamie-Lynn Lori-Lee Rose and Guy Armand Henri. (Archive)

Crown attorney Kaely Whillans, left, and Crown assistant Alanya Jay successfully proved that Liam Stinson planned to commit murder in the April 2021 firebombing. (Darren MacDonald/CTV News)

The two men who threw the Molotov cocktails were addicted to fentanyl and said Stinson promised them that no one was home that night, and even showed one of them a text message in which Rose talked about going to Timmins that night. weekend.

However, messages between Stinson and Henri that night showed that he knew they were home and had sent Rose back to the house with drugs for Henri and others.

The jury began deliberating Thursday night after a long series of instructions from Judge Dan Cornell.

Following the verdict, Whillans said he hoped the victims’ families would find peace. He praised them for being present and engaged during what was a long and complicated trial.

‘I can not say anything’

“There’s nothing I can say to families that will help them with their grief,” he said.

“I hope that in some way this verdict will at least (help them) move forward.”

First degree murder in Canada carries an automatic life sentence.

Stinson has been in prison since his arrest on April 20, 2021.

Cornell will now have to decide how long Stinson must remain in prison before being eligible for parole.

The matter is scheduled to return to court on May 21 to set a sentencing date.