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Serial killer named as suspect in killing at centre of N.S. wrongful conviction case

Newly launched paperwork level to serial killer Michael Wayne McGray as one other potential suspect within the killing of Brenda Approach — against the law that one other man, Glen Assoun, was discovered to be wrongfully convicted of committing in Nova Scotia. 

The bundle of paperwork launched by a Nova Scotia Supreme Courtroom justice Friday had been instrumental in getting the homicide cost towards Assoun dropped. They had been unsealed following an software by CBC Information, The Canadian Press and the Halifax Examiner.

A preliminary evaluation compiled by Justice Division investigator Mark Inexperienced mentioned witness Michael Hebert and McGray had been in jail collectively when McGray slipped him notes, telling him particulars about crimes he dedicated.

It mentioned Hebert instructed investigators that McGray mentioned he “murdered a prostitute that lived close to him in Dartmouth and that he slit her throat.”

Convicted serial killer Michael Wayne McGray is escorted into provincial court docket in Halifax on May 28, 2001. McGray is now a possible suspect in one other killing. (Canadian Press)

“He said he dropped her body at the back of his building and that the police found the body in a dumpster,” the doc mentioned.

In his conclusion, Inexperienced mentioned there was “a host of new information suggesting links between Michael McGray as well as other suspects, and the murder of Brenda Way.”

“I am of the view that on the basis of all this new and significant information… there may be a reasonable basis to conclude that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred in your case,” he wrote.

The paperwork additionally reveal there have been pages lacking from RCMP booklets that associated to the killing.

The Nova Scotia RCMP launched an announcement Friday, saying that in 2014, a then-serving member of the RCMP alleged his evaluation and materials associated to the murder had been lacking and had been deliberately destroyed.

The RCMP mentioned it performed an investigation and located that worksheets had been deleted in 2004.

“The deletions were contrary to policy and shouldn’t have happened,” the assertion mentioned. “They were not done, however, with malicious intent.”

Approach’s physique was found behind an house constructing on Albro Lake Street in Dartmouth, N.S., on Nov. 12, 1995. The 28-year-old had been stabbed a number of occasions and her throat  slashed.

Glen Assoun, proven outdoors the Halifax Legislation Courts earlier this month, was wrongfully convicted of second-degree homicide and spent 17 years in jail. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Suspicion instantly fell on her former boyfriend, Assoun, now 63. He was charged, convicted of second-degree homicide and sentenced to life in jail. His attraction was rejected by the Nova Scotia Courtroom of Enchantment, and the Supreme Courtroom of Canada refused to listen to his case.

Assoun maintained his innocence throughout his practically 17 years behind bars. He managed to influence legal professionals from the Affiliation in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted — a gaggle later renamed Innocence Canada — to become involved.

Brenda Approach was discovered stabbed to demise in a Dartmouth house in 1995. Glen Assoun was convicted 4 years later of second-degree homicide.

That group then persuaded the federal Justice Division to take one other take a look at the case, and what investigators for the division discovered prompted Justice Minister David Lametti to overturn Assoun’s conviction earlier this yr.

Along with different suspects, the investigators additionally seemed on the failings that led to what Lametti referred to as a possible miscarriage of justice.

Exterior court docket on Friday, Assoun mentioned he stays indignant, however is making an attempt to maneuver past these emotions.

“It’s been 21 years and it’s destroyed my life. The time gone is time I’ll never get back,” he mentioned.

In handing down his choice, Justice James Chipman mentioned the general public deserves to know the data within the paperwork.

“Mr Assoun must be able to tell a story,” mentioned Chipman. “The media must be able to report on why the minister made his decision.”

The CBC’s Blair Rhodes has been tweeting developments within the case this morning:

Timeline: The homicide of Brenda LeAnne Approach

Nov. 12, 1995: Brenda LeAnne Approach is discovered murdered at an house constructing at 109 Albro Lake Rd. in Dartmouth, N.S. She had been stabbed a number of occasions and her throat was reduce.

March 25, 1998: Glen Eugene Assoun is charged with first-degree homicide.

June 1, 1999: Assoun’s trial begins. Three days later, he fires his lawyer, Don Murray.

June 7, 1999: Assoun requests mistrial.  Request denied. The trial is subsequently adjourned to Aug. 23, 1999. On that date, Assoun tells decide he’ll symbolize himself.

Sept. 17, 1999: Assoun is convicted of second-degree homicide.

Oct. 13, 1999: Assoun recordsdata a discover of attraction.

Jan. 17, 2006: Nova Scotia Courtroom of Enchantment hears Assoun attraction. On April 20, the Courtroom of Enchantment rejects his attraction.

June 19, 2006: Assoun applies to the Supreme Courtroom of Canada. Later that yr, the Supreme Courtroom of Canada says it won’t hear Assoun’s attraction.

Sept. 23, 2010: Attorneys with Affiliation in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (later renamed Innocence Canada) comply with tackle Assoun’s case.

April 18, 2013: Innocence Canada applies for a ministerial evaluation of the Assoun case by way of the Felony Conviction Evaluation Group (CCRG) inside the federal justice division.

Aug. 19, 2014: CCRG releases preliminary report back to Assoun and N.S. Public Prosecution Service on situation data shouldn’t be launched.

Sept. 26, 2014: Legal professional Normal of Canada applies for sealing order and publication ban on materials gathered by CCRG.

Sept. 29, 2014: Media knowledgeable of software for publication ban. CBC seeks intervenor standing to oppose ban and request for sealing order.

Oct. 14, 2014: Choose grants ban and sealing order.

Nov. 24, 2014: Assoun applies for bail whereas his case is reviewed.  Bail granted.  Assoun required to dwell in B.C.

Nov 24, 2017: Assoun applies for permission to change bail circumstances to permit him to return to dwell in Nova Scotia. Permission granted.

Feb. 28, 2019: Newly appointed federal Justice Minister David Lametti overturns Assoun’s conviction, orders a brand new trial.

Mar. 1, 2019: N.S. Prosecution Service opts to not pursue second trial and the fees are dropped. Assoun is a free man.

Mar. 7. 2019: CBC begins course of to request that sealing order and publication ban be lifted. The Halifax Examiner and The Canadian Press be a part of on this motion.

July 2, 2019: Justice James Chipman agrees to media request, units July 12 for launch of paperwork.

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