Murder suspect Joshua Mitchell had Maryam Rashidi’s life in his hands and he chose to take it, a prosecutor said Thursday.
“He had the power of life or death over Maryam and he chose death,” Crown lawyer Jonathan Hak said in his final address to a Court of Queen’s Bench jury.
“When the defendant drove over Maryam with that large truck he meant to cause her death, or he meant to cause her bodily harm and was reckless whether death ensued, or not,” Hak said.
“And that is murder.”
Mitchell is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Rashidi, who succumbed to her injuries two days after a June 7, 2015, incident in which she tried to stop him from fleeing after stealing a tank of gas.
Murder suspect says sorry to victim's family
Gas clerk Maryam Rashidi died 'trying to right a wrong'
The Centex employee chased Mitchell on foot after he and his accomplice, Braydon Brown, fled the 16 Ave. N.W. station where she worked.
Because traffic was heavy, Rashidi was able to catch up to the Ford F350, first banging on the passenger side window and then standing in front of the large vehicle.
When Rashidi mounted the hood, Mitchell tried to jolt her free, before speeding off and running over her.
Hak told the five-man, seven-woman jury the only issue for them to decide is whether Mitchell is guilty of murder, or manslaughter.
He said jurors, who were shown Centex video of Rashidi inside the station before running after Mitchell in his fleeing stolen pickup, should not blame her for doing what she did.
“You saw the last images of Maryam before the defendant drover off, she saw a wrong and tried to right it,” Hak said.
“In his letter to Maryam’s family … the defendant said ‘I’m really sorry this had to happen to your family,'” the prosecutor said.
“Nothing had to happen, the defendant did not have to do anything at all, he did not have to kill her.”
Jurors must still hear final submissions from defence counsel Kim Ross, who will argue Mitchell is only guilty of manslaughter, and final instructions from Justice Alan Macleod before they begin deliberations.