Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can/will the Crown appeal the Michel Hince acquittal?

Good Day Readers:

According to an article in yesterday's Winnipeg Sun Jerome Labossiere's lawyer (Todd Bourcier) is appealing his February 1, 2012 three count first degree murder conviction for which he has 30 days. The following link sets out terms and conditions for appealing criminal convictions in Manitoba:

We may have mistakenly assumed this was impossible for now acquitted co-accused Michel Hince. Maybe not:

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms includes provisions such as section 11(h) prohibiting double jeopardy. However, often, this prohibition applies only after the trial is finally concluded. Canadian law allows the prosecution to appeal from an acquittal. If the acquittal is thrown out, the new trial is not considered to be double jeopardy because the first trial and its judgment would have been annulled. In rare circumstances, a court of appeal might also substitute a conviction for an acquittal. This is not considered to be double jeopardy, either – in this case, the appeal and subsequent conviction are deemed to be a continuation of the original trial.

For an appeal from an acquittal to be successful, the Supreme Court of Canada requires that the Crown show that an error in law was made during the trial and that the error contributed to the verdict. It has been suggested that this test is unfairly beneficial to the prosecution. For instance, Martin L Friedland, in his book My Life in Crime and Other Academic Adventures, contends that the rule should be changed so that a retrial is granted only when the error is shown to be responsible for the verdict, not just one of many factors.

A notable example of this is the case of David Ahenakew, who was tried a second time after being acquitted. (Wikipedia)

Then there's the "little matter" of a couple other outstanding charges against Jerome Labossiere - 3 counts of conspiring to commit murder and another of transacting 1-kilogram of cocaine with the wife of now imprisoned Manitoba Hells Angels President Verna Dew. To the best of our knowledge there has been no movement on processing these. Presumably, if the murder convictions are upheld the Crown will not proceed.

God only knows how much Mr. Labossiere has already and will continue to cost Manitoba/Canadian taxpayers! Our province's next multi-millionaire self "made man!"

Clare L. Pieuk
Labossiere appeals conviction
Son convicted in 2005 murder of parents, brother

Dean Pritchard
Friday, February 24, 2012

A case that left a Manitoba family in ruins is heading to the Court of Appeal.

Denis Jerome Labossiere is appealing convictions for murdering his parents Fernand and Rita Labossiere and brother Remi Labossiere.

Labossiere, 41, was convicted February 1 of three counts of first-degree murder. Co-accused Michel Hince was acquitted.

Fernand, Rita and Remi were shot to death at their St. Leon area farm house in November 2005. The home was then burned to the ground.

Labossiere’s lawyer Todd Bourcier filed the notice of appeal Thursday.

Much of the Crown’s case depended on the testimony of a third man arrested in the killings, Jeremie Toupin.
Toupin struck a deal with the Crown allowing him to plead guilty to reduced counts of second-degree murder in exchange for his testimony.

Family members testified Remi had sole ownership of the farm and left his $1 million plus estate to seven nieces and nephews. Jerome later produced a second will which left the bulk of Remi’s estate to Jerome’s son. Family members said Jerome tried to buy out their interest in the estate and became angry when they resisted.

Bourcier argued Justice Brenda Keyser erred in allowing the jury to consider the evidence of family members as confirmation of Toupin’s testimony.

Bourcier also argued Keyser should not have allowed prosecutors to lead evidence relating to Jerome Labossiere’s prior criminal involvement. Toupin testified he dealt drugs for Labossiere.

A date for the appeal hearing has not been set.


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