Carlton Leith was killed following an altercation with William Trevor Escott in the early hours of Dec. 27, 2020. (RCMP photo)

Carlton Leith was killed following an altercation with William Trevor Escott in the early hours of Dec. 27, 2020. (RCMP photo)

Manslaughter charge lowered to assault causing bodily harm for Chilliwack’s William Trevor Escott

Crown accepts plea to lesser charge in case of Carlton Leith who died after an altercation with Escott

The man responsible for killing 45-year-old Carlton Leith in downtown Chilliwack will not be convicted of homicide and he we will likely not go to jail.

William Trevor Escott was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of Leith after an altercation between the two men in the early hours of Dec. 27, 2020.

But Crown counsel Aaron Burns agreed to accept a plea to the lesser included charge of assault causing bodily harm in provincial court on Thursday (June 2).

Burns and Escott’s defence lawyer Zack Myers and Escott appeared via video link in courtroom 203 at the Chilliwack Law Courts to present the plea to Judge Peter Whyte.

A sentencing date has not yet been set, but the lawyers said they will be putting forth a joint submission of a 12-month conditional sentence, which is essentially house arrest with conditions, followed by three years of probation.

Leith’s brother expressed dismay about the plea and the possible sentence outside the courtroom on Thursday. Burns told the court that Leith’s brother, his parents and his aunt are expected to give victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing.

Burns was Crown on a recent case that involved a joint submission put into question by the judge. He and a defence lawyer entered a joint submission of an 18-month conditional sentence for child luring, a charge that has a mandatory minimum of six months in jail.

READ MORE: Mandatory minimum sentences under the microscope in Hope man’s child luring case

As for Escott, it was just before 1 a.m. on Dec. 27, when Chilliwack RCMP arrived at the 46200-block of Yale Road and found Leith suffering from serious injuries. He was taken to hospital where he died a few days later.

The stretch of Yale Road where the incident occurred is between Williams and Nowell streets.

Investigators learned that the 45-year-old was involved in an altercation with Escott, 42. Escott was tracked down and arrested.

In March, Escott pleaded guilty to a weapons charge for an incident in the same area where Leith was killed a few months before that incident.

On May 6, 2020, Escott was carrying a taser and grabbed a bystander in the 7-Eleven on Yale Road and Williams Street.

READ MORE: Man charged with 2020 manslaughter in Chilliwack pleads guilty to weapon offence

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