Juror at B.C. ferry sinking trial excused, leaving 11 deliberating verdict

VANCOUVER – A juror at the trial for the crew member charged in connection to the sinking of the Queen of the North B.C. ferry has been excused, leaving 11 people to deliberate a verdict.

The jury retired Tuesday to consider a verdict for Karl Lilgert, who is charged with criminal negligence causing the deaths of two passengers who’ve been missing since the ferry sank off B.C.’s coast in March 2006.

The jury had 12 members when deliberations started, but three days into those deliberations one of them has been excused for reasons that can’t be publicized.

No verdict was reached Friday and the panel will resume its deliberations Saturday morning at 9:30 local time.

Lilgert was charged with criminal negligence causing the deaths of passengers Gerald Foisy and Shirley Rosette.

The Crown has alleged Lilgert was distracted and failed to navigate the ship as it sailed toward a remote island, while the defence has described the accident as an “honest mistake” that doesn’t warrant a criminal conviction.

On the opening day of the trial, Judge Sunni Stromberg-Stein told the jury that due to the length of the trial, the court selected 14 jurors to hear evidence, but only 12 would be permitted to deliberate.