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Jury finds Sedo guilty of manslaughter in missing wife's death

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On the second day of deliberations,  the jury has found John Sedo guilty of manslaughter in the death of his missing wife Helen.

The verdict came around 9 p.m. on Thursday, with the jury finding him not guilty of second-degree murder.

Loved ones, including Helen's siblings and son Michael, waited inside the Newmarket courthouse on Thursday awaiting the jury's decision, with three possible outcomes: guilty of second-degree murder, guilty of manslaughter, or not guilty of a crime in his wife's mysterious disappearance.

The case has been adjourned until March 6 when a date for a sentencing hearing will be set. 

The Crown suggested Sedo killed his wife of 35 years following a heated argument on the night of July 29, 2020, dumped her body, and destroyed any evidence.

The Crown said Sedo went to great lengths to get rid of Helen's body and any other evidence that would tie him to her disappearance.

Sedo was captured on surveillance cameras withdrawing $500 in cash around 10:30 that night, which the Crown said was unusual for him. He was also seen picking up Helen's SUV from the repair shop in Aurora.

The Crown argues that Sedo was captured on cameras heading north with a trailer carrying dirt bikes the following day, and buying gas on his way to cottage country.

After an argument with Helen, Sedo later told investigators he went north to his property in Huntsville to clear his head and ride his dirt bike. Sedo told police when he got home, Helen was gone after packing her bag and taking off.

The court heard about the couple's troubled marriage, with witnesses testifying Helen had said she'd had enough of John and wanted a divorce.

On August 1, two days after she allegedly left, Sedo called 911 to report Helen missing. His son testified Sedo felt reporting her missing was an overreaction.

During the 911 call, Sedo said his wife had never spent a night away from home, calling her absence "really unlike her."

"She absolutely left Wednesday night in a complete rage," he explained to the 911 dispatcher.

The defence countered by telling the court Helen simply vanished, her disappearance remains a mystery, and her husband is not responsible for her presumed death or murder.

His team told the jury Sedo was innocent, adding that without a motive, Helen's remains, a cause of death or any direct evidence tying him to her disappearance, he must be acquitted as the Crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt Sedo was guilty.

Helen's phone and passport were left behind at her home. Her SUV was later found in a wooded area in Huntsville, burned, with the battery removed.

John Sedo was arrested and charged two months after Helen went missing with second-degree murder.

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