Justice Denny Thomas is expected to rule on the Travis Vader mistrial application on October 31st.
Thomas has asked the Crown and Defence to hand in written submissions by the 19th so he has time to review them before Halloween. Thomas said this morning that the decision will be read in open court.
Thomas found Vader guilty of second-degree murder in the 2010 deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann. The couple, both in their late 70s, disappeared west of Edmonton after setting out on a camping trip to BC.
In the verdict, Justice Thomas said Vader was a desperate drug addict who came across the couple in their motorhome and shot them during a robbery. However, the judge cited Section 230 of the Criminal Code of Canada. That section is still in the books despite being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1990. That ruling prompted the mistrial application.
Legal experts say the judge could let the original verdict stand, setting up an appeal by the Defence. If Justice Thomas agrees with a mistrial, it’s expected the Defence Could seek a stay of proceedings citing a violation of Vader’s right to have a trial within a reasonable period of time. The third option would be to substitute a manslaughter conviction based on the evidence heard at trial, leaving room for both the Crown and Defence to appeal.
–with files from 630 CHED