SARNIA, ON: Jury deliberations commenced on Thursday, May 17, 2012 in the first degree murder trial of Craig Short, 52. Short is accused of murdering his wife Barbara, 48, in a desperate move to prevent her from taking any of his family assets in their impending divorce.
The beginning of the story is an all too familiar one. Barbara was alleged to have been carrying on an extra marital affair, which Short discovered when he found a series of Barbara’s hand-written poems about her lover. The prosecution alleges that Short had the motive and opportunity to carry out the murder of his wife, and that he did so on October 18, 2008. Her body was discovered behind the couple’s home, her skull fractured. Short claimed that she fell from the roof while he was out of the house, however the prosecution has cast doubt on this theory as there was no ladder present at the scene. Jurors were told that Short’s only concern was protecting his assets in the impending divorce. Witnesses testified that Short had threatened to harm or kill Barbara rather than see her take any of his money. He was self-employed and she was a bookkeeper for his business.
After two days of deliberation, the Jury was discharged when the foreman informed the judge that the jury was “impossibly deadlocked,” a devastating result for all parties who will have to rehash the tragedy of Barbara’s death for a second time. A new trial will likely commence in 2013.
The message to take away from this terrible story is that no matter what the circumstances of your divorce, violence is never the answer. Even threatening violence against your spouse will land you in hot water and is a cowardly way to get what you want.
If you are a victim of spousal abuse or fear for your safety during the separation process, please contact the police and a qualified family lawyer for help.
For more information on divorce and other family law matters, please visit MyOntarioDivorce.com or BermanBarristers.com.