Friday, December 15

Cop Kills Wife, Legally Impaired-Not Guilty?

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What started out as a quiet night in the Ryan family home turned deadly on November 09th, when retired Toronto police officer, Larry Ryan killed his wife of 20 years with his hunting riffle. 

Larry Ryan admitted to manslaughter, in the killing of his wife,Susan Ryan, a prominent Mississauga Realtor, The question that remains for Ryan’s jury is whether the killing was intentional or was Larry to drunk to have formed the legal intent to murder her. But in reality, how drunk is too drunk? Was Larry Ryan  too impaired when he came up from behind his wife, pressing the muzzle of his 32-calibre gun against her temple and pulled the trigger, and followed with 3 more pulls watching the dead body of Susan slump to the floor. 

The question remains, was her death a horrible accident on a booze driven binge, or thought out execution? Ryan, 60, pleaded not guilty to second degree murder, however has pleaded guilty to man slaughter.  

Forensic-Pathologist Dr. Elena Tugalvea told courts that Susan Ryan, 57 was killed by two .22 calibre rifle shots to the head, with one bullet entering just below Ryan’s skull as the muzzle was pressed against her fight temple just below her ear. A third bullet in the kitchen wall, while the fourth grazed and burned her lip.

Ryan has no memory of that morning according to his close friend Vince Santoro. “He doesn’t remember anything that happened.” Santoro told jury at Wednesday’s trial.”He knows what happened, but he doesn’t remember it.” Vince has been friends with the Ryan family for almost 30 years and spent most Friday nights having a few drinks and cigars. Santoro explained he has seen Larry  “Tie one on at times” insisted for the most part, he was a social drinker. 

On the morning of Susan’s slaying, Larry was scheduled to be leaving on a week long deer hunting trip. While waiting for his toast and eggs that his wife was cooking, Larry fired four blasts with his semi-automatic. Jurors were shown disturbing images of Susan, collapsed on the kitchen floor, surrounded by the deep color of her blood, holding the frying pan and spatula in which she was using at the time her husband opened fire. Its tillun certain how long it took Ryan to stumble out of their home where he told his waiting hunting pals that he killed his wife, shooting her four times. 

According to testimony by Forensic toxicologist, Justin Hinman, Ryan who was tested at Mississauga Hospital at 8.55am, a few hours after the murder, he had a blood alcohol reading of between 295mg to 322mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, four times the legal driving limit. Estimated readings at 7am were asked to be given by defense lawyer James Burke and was told that Ryan’s limit could have been as high as 387mg per 100ml of blood. 

Donald Brown, Ryan’s hunting buddy testified that he had called Ryan at 7.00am that morning to receive directions to his home and at that time “seemed normal” stated Brown. So just how impaired was Mr. Ryan at the time of the shooting? 

Crown attorny John Raftery asked the toxicology expert if it was possible that a moderate drinker such as Ryan, with a blood alcohol limit of almost 4 times the legal driving limit would be able to negotiate steep set of stairs from the basement where his guns were kept and “snea up behind someone, put a rifle to their head and fire it with out creating sounds for that person to notice?”

Hinman agreed that it was highly un-likely. Trial continues Friday, November 26th 

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