Lawrence Alvin Sharpe and Oldouz Pournouruz outside court. They were charged with manslaughter after a confrontation in November 2017 at a Burnaby Starbucks that resulted in the death of Michael Page-Vincelli.
NICK PROCAYLO / PNG
Lawrence Sharpe delivered a blow in the fatal assault of a man inside a Starbucks coffee shop but was acting in self-defence, the accused’s lawyer argued Monday.Jack Thorhaug made the submission during final arguments to a B.C. Supreme Court jury on behalf of Sharpe, who has pleaded not guilty to the July 2017 manslaughter of Michael Page-Vincelli, 22.The trial has heard that after a dispute between Page-Vincelli and Sharpe’s girlfriend, Oldouz Pournouruz, Sharpe and Pournouruz went to the Starbucks in the Kensington shopping mall on Hastings Street.Video footage from the coffee shop, which was played for the jury, shows the interaction between Sharpe and Page-Vincelli, who fell to the ground after being hit in the face by Sharpe.
Michael Anthony Page-Vincelli, 22, died July 15, 2017 after a confrontation at a Starbucks in Burnaby.
Thorhaug told the jury that while Sharpe delivered a “looping left hand” that came from below, it was open to them to conclude that his client was acting in self-defence.“The finding of not guilty is open to you,” he said of the manslaughter charge facing Sharpe.The defence lawyer urged the jury to carefully examine the video and the nine-second interaction between his client and Page-Vincelli. He said the video was “troubling” and “tragic,” but needed to be seen in the context of a larger picture.Thorhaug argued that the evidence indicated his client went to the Starbucks to find out what had happened during the dispute between his girlfriend and Page-Vincelli and may have been seeking an apology. He said events happened “very quickly” and that before punching Page-Vincelli, the victim may have moved forward.Thorhaug claimed that his client’s version of events — including that the punch was a “knee-jerk” reaction — wasn’t shaken on cross-examination by the Crown. After he delivered the punch and Page-Vincelli fell to the ground, it appeared that Sharpe looked at him, turned around and then left with Pournouruz, he said.“That is undoubtedly not the proper thing to do, but he is not charged with not doing the right thing,” he said.The defence lawyer noted that Page-Vincelli died of blunt-head trauma, from hitting his head on the ground, but added that there was a direct causal connection between the punch and what happened. He urged the jury to consider all of the evidence, including his client’s testimony, before reaching a verdict.Pamela Smith-Gander, Pournouruz’s lawyer, is expected to give her final arguments Tuesday followed by the submissions of Crown counsel Colleen Smith.B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mary Humphries is to give her final instructions to the jury Wednesday. The jury will then begin their email@example.com/keithrfraserCLICK HERE to report a typo. Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.</p