Guy Smith has been found guilty of manslaughter and interference with a dead body in relation to the death of Likely resident Gary Price five years ago.
Family members of Price were seen hugging and crying outside the Supreme Court room Tuesday afternoon following the decision handed down by Supreme Court Justice Marguerite Church.
The trial saw 60 witnesses called over a seven-week-long trial.
Price was 60 at the time of his death. His family first reported him missing on March 3, 2013.
His body was discovered in September 2014 in a well on a private property on in Likely, following the Mount Polley Mine breach.
The trial was delayed last summer due to the 2017 wildfires and at one point adjourned to Prince George to be heard there.
Price’s sister Gwen Reese was one of the witnesses called to the stand.
She testified she contacted RCMP dispatch worried about the whereabouts of her brother on March 3, 2013 after it was brought to her attention on March 1, that Price’s abandoned vehicle was seen parked on the Keithley Creek Road, and she’d learned he had missed two appointments.
Initially Reese called Cariboo Memorial Hospital, some auto body shops, Canadian Tire and a few hotels to see if Price was staying there, wondering if he had gone into Williams Lake to buy parts for his truck.
“We are so grateful and thankful to the North District RCMP Major Crime Unit, to the Crown Counsel, and our big judge God upstairs, he’s in on this too,” Reese said outside the court room. “They all worked so hard over the last five years. It’s been almost five and half years since Gary’s been gone.”
A date for sentencing was not determined by press time, however, Smith’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 30 to fix a date.