A lawsuit filed by a B.C. man who was acquitted of a teenage woman’s homicide after spending 14 years in jail for her slaying has been settled out of court docket.
Kyle Unger filed go well with in 2011 for $14.5 million in opposition to the RCMP and quite a few federal and provincial justice officers together with former Manitoba Crown prosecutor George Dangerfield, who was accountable for three different homicide convictions that have been ultimately overturned.
A spokesperson for Manitoba’s justice division confirmed Monday afternoon that an out-of-court settlement had been reached.
“He is waited a very long time to attempt to put this previously,” mentioned Calgary lawyer Gavin Wolch, who was one of many attorneys who labored on the case.
“The one message that I hope he receives loudly and clearly from the method and from everyone or anyone who reads about it or listens to it or sees it someplace is that he’s unequivocally harmless. He’s as harmless of this crime immediately as he was the day he was born and hopefully that’s acknowledged and that is recognition that he can really feel.”
Unger spent 14 years behind bars in B.C. for the high-profile 1990 sexual assault and killing of Brigitte Grenier in Roseisle, Man. One other man, Timothy Houlahan, was additionally convicted within the homicide. Houlahan died by suicide in 1994.
Unger was acquitted in 2009 after former federal justice minister Rob Nicholson dominated there was an inexpensive chance he had been wrongfully convicted.
Caitlin MacGregor, press secretary for Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen, responded to an e-mail request for an interview with the minister by saying, “The phrases of this settlement are confidential.”
Calgary-based lawyer Greg Rodin, who led the civil go well with, was not instantly out there for remark.
Mr. Huge sting
Unger claimed he had killed Grenier whereas chatting with undercover cops who have been pretending to be gang members trying to recruit him.
The officers have been a part of a “Mr. Huge” sting and advised Unger he needed to show he had dedicated a critical crime if he needed to affix them of their profitable way of life. Unger obtained key info unsuitable in regards to the killing nevertheless it was nonetheless used in opposition to him. He later advised reporters he’d lied as a result of he was younger, naive and determined for cash.
A 3-day listening to in Manitoba civil court docket concerning the lawsuit was supposed to start out Monday however as an alternative was adjourned. Wolch mentioned Unger’s attorneys have been nonetheless planning on being in court docket up till “late phases.”
Wolch, whose late father Hersh Wolch represented Unger earlier than his 2009 acquittal, mentioned whereas the settlement is nice information, it does not mark the tip for Unger.
“However this step, it is not magically over for him. He lives with what he went by means of and the way he was branded and he’ll reside with that eternally. It is not simply magically going to finish with the case.”
Dangerfield is the now-retired Crown prosecutor behind 4 high-profile homicide convictions that have been later quashed. His lawyer didn’t instantly reply to an e-mail requesting remark.
The latest case concerned Winnipeg man Frank Ostrowski, who had a 1987 homicide conviction put aside by Manitoba’s Courtroom of Enchantment final 12 months.
The opposite males convicted of homicide who would later have their convictions quashed have been Thomas Sophonow, exonerated in 2000, and James Driskell, exonerated in 2005.
The federal and provincial lawyer common’s workplace and the RCMP had filed statements of defence within the case saying they acted in good religion and shouldn’t be held responsible for the wrongful homicide conviction.
They argued Unger was guilty for repeat confessions he made to undercover officers.
The RCMP and federal Justice Minister David Lametti weren’t instantly out there for remark.