Teresa Craig verdict: Guilty
Fatal stabbing of husband was manslaughter, says jury.
Mon, June 16, 2008
By TERRI SAUNDERS, SUN MEDIA
Teresa Pohchoo Craig hugged friends and cried as she was taken into custody last night after being found guilty of manslaughter in the stabbing death of her husband.
"I'm okay, I'm okay," Craig kept repeating, as she hugged several women in courtroom. "I love you all."
Craig, who was originally charged with first degree murder in the March 2006 death of Jack Craig, was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter after four days of deliberations by the 12-person jury.
Craig's bail was revoked almost immediately after the verdict -- delivered at 10:30 p.m. yesterday -- when Judge Robert Maranger agreed with Crown attorney Jason Neubauer the 51-year-old woman was no longer presumed innocent.
"This is a serious offence," Maranger said, disagreeing with defence attorney Richard Morris' suggestion his client posed no danger to society. "Her bail should be revoked."
Craig will be back before Maranger June 30 when a date will be set for a sentencing hearing.
On a conviction of manslaughter, a non-custodial sentence is a possibility.
"A conditional sentence is available," said Morris, "although that would take a certain amount of convincing on my part."
Craig already has four months of custodial credit for time she served in custody prior to being released on bail before her trial.
Jack and Teresa had been married for 14 years after meeting through a pen-pal service. Teresa lived in Malaysia and came to Canada to live with Jack. For about a decade, the couple and their son lived on B.C.'s Protection Island.
Jack moved his family back to Kemptville to be closer to his mother, Della Craig.
Paramedics found Jack Craig in the mobile home where he lived with his wife and son, critically injured with stab wounds to his chest, following a 911 call from a neighbour's home.
The Crown had argued that Craig's own words prove she plotted to murder her husband because she hated him.
Morris told the jury his client was at most guilty of manslaughter because she was mentally ill, and that years of emotional abuse had driven her to kill her husband.
"Teresa Craig killed her husband but she did not murder him," he told them during his closing argument.
Teresa Craig was a woman, if she was a male, there would have been a murder conviction.
The mental illness defence probably would not have been so accepted by a jury if she was male.
The jury however made the right call, women suffer mental illness at around 5 times the rate of men,
and frequently believe they are victims of abuse even when they are chronic physical and psychological abusers with not just a mental health problem but severe personality disorders that without a mental illness would probably have got Teresa Craig, if she was a man, a murder conviction.
Mental illness is a taboo subject, and societies failure to deal appropriately is costing society billons.
It causes most criminal, and family litigation and there are few judges willing to listen to any allegations of mental illness, against a woman while jumping with a knee jerk reaction to support any such allegation made against a man by a woman.