The Fifth Estate Life with Billy

The Fifth Estate Life with Billy

Hana Gartner reports from Bangs Falls, Nova Scotia on the events leading to the murder of Billy Stafford, a cruel and sadistic husband who for years brutalized his wife and children. On March 11, 1982 a desperate Jane Stafford stuck a rifle through an open window and killed her husband as he slept. In a candid interview Jane describes the physical abuse and beatings she suffered. Jane was arrested and offered a plea of guilty to manslaughter. However, prosecutor Blane Allaby won a plea of first-degree murder. In November 1982, Jane went to trial before a judge and jury in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, facing a 25-year prison term. The jury entered a verdict of not guilty. The crown later appealed the verdict and on February 14, 1983, Jane and her attorney entered a plea of guilty to manslaughter. Because Billy was asleep when he was killed it was argued the jury had stretched the definition of self-defence. The judge denied a retrial and sentenced Jane to six months in prison and two years’ probation. Jane's brutal details are a common scenario among battered wives, and such events are forcing the crown to redefine the meaning of self-defence.

  • 1984
  • 00:35:30
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
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