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Former B.C. university security guard convicted of manslaughter avoids jail time

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A B.C. Supreme Court judge has decided not to send a former Trinity Western University security guard to prison after convicting him of manslaughter.

Supreme Court Justice Catherine Murray found Jack Hutchison, now 55 years old, guilty last month in relation to an incident on the Langley Campus on Sept. 30, 2020 that led to the death of 30-year-old Howard Glen Hill.

Friday morning, Murray handed Hutchison an 18 month conditional sentence to be served in the community.

Crown was seeking a five-year prison sentence, while defence sought either a suspended or conditional sentence.

“He is clearly a broken man,” Murray said of Hutchison.

“I firmly believe that he’s not broken because of the circumstances in which he finds himself, I truly believe he is broken because he caused Glen’s death."

According to Murray’s reasons for judgement, a man described as tall and wearing all black, later identified as Hill, was seen wandering through student residences and rifling through people’s rooms.

The court heard that Hill had schizophrenia, and hadn’t taken his medication for months.

Calls were made to Hutchison, the lone security guard that day.

Eventually, he was able to locate Hill, who tried to run away. Hutchison was able to track him down, leading to a physical altercation where the two men traded blows.

Hutchison, who the court heard had previous martial arts training, was able to get Hill in a headlock.

“Mr. Hutchison placed Mr. Hill in a neck restraint and held him there until police arrived. When police finally got there, Mr. Hill was unconscious,” Murray wrote in her judgement.

Hill was taken to the hospital, but was eventually taken off life support a few days later.

“I acknowledge that parsing this incident apart in a detached manner in the calm of a court room is much different than the situation Mr. Hutchison faced,” Murray said in court Friday.

“He was fearful, his adrenaline was flowing, he felt the responsibility of his job, he was responsible for the safety of every on campus."

Murray called the case difficult, unusual, and tragic, and said Crown did not provide any relatable cases to help support their proposed sentencing range.

In a statement to CTV News, Hill’s family wrote: “We appreciate that this was a difficult decision for Judge Catherine Murray. We thank her for her empathy towards our family.” 

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