a.m., Jan. 27)
orders retrial in 16-year-old Cumberland murder case
By Fred Sherwin
and costliest murder case could get a lot more expensive. Two weeks after
a provincial Superior Court judge stayed first-degree murder charges against
Richard Trudel and James Sauve in connection with the 1990 slaying of Michel
Giroux and his pregnant common-law wife Manon Bourdeau, the Ontario Court
of Appeal has ordered a retrial for co-accused Richard Mallory and Robert
Stewart who were convicted of second and first degree murder charges respectively
Giroux and Bourdeau
were gunned down in their Cumberland home in the spring of 1990, setting in
motion the longest and most expensive murder case in Canadian history.
Justice Colin MacKinnon
stayed first degree murder charges against Trudel and Sauve on the eve of
their second trial earlier this month on the grounds that they had waited
to long for a retrial and there were too many errors made when they were originally
convicted of first degree murder in 2004.
In their ruling
Friday, the Ontario Court of Appeal pointed to the "number and gravity
of the errors" they found in the Crown's case against them.
In particular they
criticized the original trial judges failure to adequately charging
the jury regarding disreputable witnesses and certain hearsay
of the number and gravity of the errors the appeals against conviction must
be allowed, the convictions set aside, and a new trial ordered, the
During the original
trial, the Crown case was largely based on the evidence of a paid informer.
Denis Gaudreault testified that he procured weapons for the four men and drove
them to the couple's Cumberland home.
Giroux was a small
time drug dealer who owed money to Stewart. Trudel was an associate of Stewart's
and Sauve was his enforcer. Gaudreault testified that when they arrived at
the couple's home Mallory, Trudel and Sauve went into the house while he and
Stewart remained in the car.
Giroux was shot
and killed in the front room of the house and Bourdeau was killed with a single
shotgun blast to the back of the head in the bedroom.
There was no forensic
evidence linking the four accused to the scene, which meant the entire case
hinged on Gaudreault's testimony who was painted as a pathological liar by
the defence. The case against the men began to fall apart when Gaudreault
started started having memory lapses. He also admitted to lying to the police,
fabricating evidence and that he had lied at the preliminary inquiry.
Whether or not
the Crown plans to appeal this latest decision is still under consideration.
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