On August 31, 2009, Michael Bryant, the former Attorney General of Ontario, killed a man, Darcy Allan Sheppard. There had been an altercation between Mr. Bryant, driving his Saab and Sheppard, on his bike. At first, Mr. Bryant was charged with the killing. His name was mud, as reports told of the callous way he had driven away with Sheppard hanging off the driver side door.
The truth would be much different, as Mr. Bryant tells in his book, 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Injustice and Tragedy. Maclean’s has an excerpt:
For most of his troubled 33 years, Darcy Sheppard had fought addiction to alcohol and crack cocaine. On this day, his string of eight sober days had come—once again—to a dispiriting end. He appeared on the city’s radar a little after 7 p.m., as Susan and I were parking the car at the restaurant where we would have our shawarma dinner. It was then he showed up at the apartment of his girlfriend on George Street, in a notorious zone of men’s hostels and crack dealers in one of Toronto’s grittier quarters.
For a time, Sheppard and his girlfriend had lived together. But, after a dispute, she had asked him to move out. Now, he was back at her door, drunk on arrival. She wanted him to sleep it off. For a time, he reportedly did. Then he awoke and apparently decided to leave. There must have been a disagreement in the apartment about the wisdom of this.
Around this time, Susan and I would have been exchanging anniversary presents, and walking on the sand, along the lakeshore at the Beaches. The moon was three-quarters full. On the other side of town, someone was howling at that moon.
Much of the excerpt may seem a little defensive and self-serving, but, overall, it is a compelling read.