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William Sandeson found guilty of first-degree murder in death of Taylor Samson

18 Juin 2017

Samson's body was never found.

After weeks of testimony, a jury has found Dalhousie medical student William Sandeson guilty of first-degree murder in connection with the death of fellow Dalhousie student Taylor Samson.

The jury, which deliberated for about 22 hours, returned its verdict at noon on Sunday.

Before deliberations began, Justice Josh Arnold laid out four possible verdicts in the case: Sandeson could be found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter, or he could be found not guilty. Sandeson was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Samson, a fellow Dalhousie University student, who was last seen on August 15, 2015 and whose body has not been found. The 12-member jury has deliberated for almost 20 hours in total since Thursday afternoon. People in the gallery cheered after the decision was announced.

Samson was reported missing the next day and hasn't been seen since.

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The prosecution alleged Sandeson was in money trouble and set up a drug deal with Samson on August 15, 2015.

The Crown argued Sandeson, 24, lured Samson, 22, to his Henry Street apartment the night of August 15, 2015 on the pretext of a drug deal, and shot him in the back of the head. Sandeson owed more than $70,000 on a $200,000 line of credit.

"Taylor Samson had no clue what he was walking into, " said McOnie, asking the jury to find Sandeson guilty of first-degree murder.

She also located Samson's DNA on a shower curtain, garbage bag tarp and duffel bag that were seized from an old refrigerated ice cream truck at Sandeson's family farm in Lower Truro, N.S.

Defence lawyer Eugene Tan has urged the jury to acquit Sandeson, arguing his client is not a "criminal mastermind".

William Sandeson found guilty of first-degree murder in death of Taylor Samson