Judge reserves decision in case of attempted murder by snowmobile

Jordan Kovic charged in 2019 after running over man, kicking him in head

Crown and defence lawyers presented their final submissions in the attempted murder trial of Jordan Kovic Monday at the Nunavut Court of Justice. Justice Susan Charlesworth said she will deliver a decision Friday. (File photo)

By David Lochead

A Nunavut court judge must decide whether a video offers enough evidence to show Jordan Kovic intended to kill a 28-year-old man when he ran over him with a snowmobile and kicked him repeatedly in the head in Iqaluit in 2019.

Kovic was charged with attempted murder after the attack. He was 19 at the time.

The victim was transported to hospital in Ottawa.

Kovic admitted to the attack, but said he did not intend to kill the man and pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder charge. To be found guilty of attempted murder, the Crown needs to prove the person had intent to kill.

A security camera from a nearby home captured the incident on video.

Kovic’s trial wrapped up Monday with Justice Susan Charlesworth listening to final statements from Crown and defence lawyers.

Defence lawyer Eva Tache-Green said if the evidence in this case only consisted of video showing Kovic running over someone and kicking them, then it would be common sense to infer that Kovic intended to kill.

“But that is not the case that we have,” she said.

Tache-Green referred to testimony from an expert witness, clinical psychologist Dr. Monty Nelson, who diagnosed Kovic in 2022 with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and various other intellectual disorders.

Nelson said it was his opinion that Kovic could not have intended to kill that night, because of the impairments caused by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

He said Kovic was likely experiencing a fight-or-flight response after misperceiving a threat from the victim, whom Kovic thought had tried to vandalize his snowmobile.

When taking into consideration fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, any inference of common sense in an attack is removed, Tache-Green said.

She said Kovic attacked the victim but later took him to get help, which supports Kovic’s contention that he was not trying to kill.

Crown attorney Emma Baasch argued the evidence before the court is “very straightforward, very simple and very direct.”

Since nobody can know what was in Kovic’s mind at the time of the attack, it’s only possible to conclude what he was thinking by using external evidence, she said, adding even Kovic himself has said he does not remember the attack.

“The video shows what he thought,” she said.

Baasch challenged the validity of Nelson’s report and testimony, saying that his expertise is for diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, not for providing evidence of what Kovic’s state of mind was during the incident.

She also disputed Tache-Green’s argument that Kovic was not acting rationally that night. She pointed out the video shows that after Kovic ran over the victim, Kovic checked on him and then proceeded to kick him multiple times.

That video shows the “clearest evidence, potentially any court can ever have in this type of situation, that he intended to kill,” Baasch said.

Charlesworth told the court she plans to deliver her decision Nov. 24.


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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Sapolsky on

    Talk about ‘intent to kill’ reveals an antiquated way of understanding what goes on in the brain.

  2. Posted by What Decision? on

    I can’t find in the article what the decision was, nor what the judge reversed it to. Any help?

    • Posted by John K on


      Justice Charlesworth has reserved her decision meaning that she needs more time to consider evidence and testimony before rendering a verdict.

    • Posted by Reserves Decision on

      There was non. Reserved Decision means a decision that is not given immediately after a case is argued but which is kept under consideration. Charlesworth decision is on Nov 24.

    • Posted by j on

      as stated in the last line of the article – Charlesworth told the court she plans to deliver her decision Nov. 24. lol

    • Posted by AK on

      She didn’t reverse a decision; she *reserved* her decision — meaning that she hasn’t made it yet. The last line says she intends to provide her decision on November 24.

  3. Posted by Setting an interesting precedent here on

    If have FASD can excuse someone from committing heinous and malicious crimes – what percentage of people in NU born after say, 1980 can lay claim to this? Also, running someone over with a snowmobile and repeatedly kicking them in the head qualifies for a little more than assault or other lesser charges. Chances of this person recommitting acts of this magnitude seems rather high.

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