Murder charge for accused in Dawson Creek homicide case

A murder charge has been approved against a Dawson Creek woman arrested following a homicide earlier this month. 

Candice Dawn Shearer, born 1986, was arrested after Anna Sheppard was found dead in her 116th Ave. home Nov. 12.

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On Nov. 30, Crown counsel officials approved a charge of second-degree murder in the case. Shearer was initially charged with manslaughter, and both charges are still before the court. 

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel with the provincial Crown, confirmed the additional charge Thursday. 

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, second-degree murder is a form of homicide that lacks the intent and planning necessary for first-degree murder. 

A second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence, with at least ten years parole ineligibility. 

Manslaughter is a type of homicide in which the accused lacked an intent to cause death. Unless the accused used a firearm in the offence, there is no minimum sentence for manslaughter. In cases where a gun was used, the minimum sentence is four years. 

Manslaughter and second-degree murder are also distinguished by the degree of intent. For example, the Crown will sometimes pursue a second-degree murder charge if an accused person displayed reckless disregard in causing harm that could lead to death. 

Shearer has not been found guilty of the offences. She remains in custody in Prince George, and will next appear in court Dec. 13. 

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