A murder charge was dropped Thursday against a Newfoundland man accused of killing a home invader past year. At the time Budgell, the homeowner, was faced with a home invasion situation that resulted in the death of one of the two intruders.
The charges were formally withdrawn Thursday morning in provincial court in Grand Falls-Windsor, where a preliminary inquiry was set to begin.
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"When it gets to the judge's stage, he has to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that it happened, so he needs nearly near certainty", O'Reilly told reporters Thursday in Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L.
"What we've determined is that there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction, that we wouldn't be able to prove that it wasn't self defence", she told reporters after the short hearing.
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Bob Buckingham, the lawyer representing Budgell in the case, said the man who died was a friend. "It's been very stressful and hard on him, and he's glad to get on with his life".
Buckingham noted Budgell has expressed remorse over the incident. "He's absolutely and totally, completely upset and distraught as to what happened to this person". "How he did not understand why a person who was a friend had come into his house, and he wished things had turned out much more differently". He is now incarcerated on another conviction with respect to a drug charge, unrelated to the charges that were withdrawn on October 12, Buckingham told reporters.
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According to O'Reilly, the gun used in the incident was a rifle, which Budgell was legally allowed to own.