Sault man found guilty of murder
Johnathan Townsend is pictured here leaving the Sault Ste. Marie courthouse on April 20 after being found guilty of murder. (File photo)
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 2:44PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:29PM EDT
A Sault Ste. Marie man charged with first degree murder has been found guilty.
After deliberating for just over an hour, a jury found Johnathan Townsend guilty of first degree murder, in the death of Corellie Bonhomme.
A date for sentencing will be chosen next week.
The Sault Police Service said Bonhomme was stabbed to death at an apartment building on Lake Street; back in August of 2013.
During the trial, it was revealed that Townsend found Bonhomme, who was a dancer at a local club, sleeping in his apartment building and he decided to take her in.
Over the course of Bonhomme's stay there, Townsend became offended by her; especially when she refused to eat a dinner he prepared for her.
Townsend has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and his lawyer argued the murder was not pre-meditated.
Defence lawyer Jennifer Tremblay-Hall said despite the quick conclusion by the jury, the verdict was not unexpected.
“I would say that's record time,” said Tremblay-Hall.
“It almost seems that the jury had a strong idea of where they were going to go before they walked in that room, but we don't have any issues with the jury. We thought they were attentive all the way through. We think they did the job the way they are supposed to. The process worked fairly, so it is a shock that they came back that fast, but I think that speaks to the amount of evidence that was against Johnathan."
Some of the aforementioned evidence included Townsend’s internet search history; including 36,000 Skype messages he sent to an online friend.
A technology expert with the Sault Police Service testified that in messages leading up to the murder, Townsend talked about wanting to kill Bonhomme.
Townsend mentioned wanting to poison her and then grind up her body. He also searched for the best meat grinder on Google.
He told an online friend that he was scared of the victim, and he didn't want her to stay at his place anymore.
On the day of the murder, Townsend sent a message to a friend stating he felt disrespected by the victim for not eating food he made for her. He went on to say, he was going to kill her and spill her blood all over bed.
“Difficult, it was a hard time, difficult to listen to these kinds of things. It's difficult to live with that,” Vanessa Eubanks, Bonhomme sister, told CTV’s Jairus Patterson, earlier this month.
Jonathan Townsend found guilty of 1st degree murder of Corellie Bonhomme. His lawyer Jennifer Tremblay-Hall isn't shocked by the verdict. pic.twitter.com/SPi4rlVqgo— Lincoln Louttit (@LincolnCTV) April 20, 2017