Curtis Bonnell found guilty for murdering his 16-year-old cousin

New Brunswick, Canada (ICC) November 2012

A courtroom in northern New Brunswick, Canada erupted in cheers November 3rd, after a man was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his 16-year-old cousin.

A six-man, six-woman jury found Curtis Bonnell guilty after deliberating for about six and a half hours late Friday, November 2nd and early Saturday, November 3rd.

Family members of the victim -- Hilary Bonnell -- wept openly in court as the verdict was read. Curtis Bonnell showed no emotion and members of his immediate family quickly left the courthouse.
Outside the courthouse, Hilary's mother, Pam Fillier, sobbed as relatives and friends hugged her.

The conviction carries an automatic sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, however, Judge Fred Ferguson has scheduled a sentencing hearing for Nov. 14 to allow members of Hilary's family to read victim impact statements.

During the seven-week trial, the Crown alleged the 32-year-old Bonnell picked up the girl while driving on a rural stretch of road, sexually assaulted her and killed her.