A murder trial related to the 2009 death of Angela Crossman of Abbotsford has ended in a hung jury.
Ian Michael Hewitt, 38, charged with first-degree murder, had been on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster since February.
But the jury could not agree on a verdict late last month and Hewitt next appears in court Jan. 5 to set a date for a new trial.
Hewitt and Crossman were both staying at the Abbotsford home of Alex Paul at the time of the killing on June 11, 2009.
The Crown alleged at trial that Paul had asked Hewitt to kill Crossman because the 39-year-old woman, who suffered from mental health problems, was causing problems at home, where his wife and two children also lived.
During a complex police sting, Hewitt allegedly told undercover officers that in the early-morning hours of June 11, 2009, he choked and stabbed Crossman and slit her throat at Elbow Lake, near Harrison Lake. Her body was found later that day near a popular campsite.
Hewitt’s lawyer said at trial that his client falsely confessed to the murder and that it was actually Paul who killed Crossman by strangling her while Hewitt was inside the home.
The defence lawyer said Paul then commissioned Hewitt to help dispose of the body, according to the defence, but it was Paul who drove the body to Elbow Lake.
He said Paul later told Hewitt that at Elbow Lake he had stabbed Crossman and cut her throat to make it appear as if a serial killer had murdered her.
Paul died about a month after Crossman’s killing, after being shot by a friend during an altercation.
That friend cited self-defence and was later acquitted of second-degree murder.
– with files by Tyler Olsen