R v. A.Y.

Result: Charges dismissed mid-trial

In a case right out of television, identical twins were charged with a number of criminal offences, including stabbing two people causing significant bodily harm. The case was circumstantial and relied on DNA found at the scene. Identical twins have identical DNA which made proving who was at the scene incredibly difficult. The Crown Prosecutor proceeded to trial on the basis of party liability under section 21 of the Criminal Code in which she wouldn’t have to provide who did the stabbing, just that both were present and knew the stabbing was going to occur.

At trial, Cory Wilson took the lead and vigorously cross-examined each of the witnesses, taking apart the Crown’s case, witness by witness. Cory also won a serious of important evidentiary applications brought by the prosecutor to allow inadmissible evidence in at trial. After the first week of the scheduled two week trial, the Crown asked the judge to dismiss the charges against both accuseds because there was no likelihood of conviction.

Despite a third co-accused identifying A.Y. and his twin brother as the guilty parties, the evidence was not admitted at trial and A.Y. won his case. This was the best possible scenario as A.Y. was facing significant jail time if found guilty.

R v. J.H.

Result: Successful Appeal. New Trial Ordered

J.H. was charged with being one of five individuals involved in a violent home invasion. At the house were a number of individuals including women and children. The trial took place over three weeks and involved close to 15 witnesses, a wire-tap voir dire and numerous applications. At trial, many of the witnesses gave contradictory evidence that should have caused the trial judge to conduct a reliability assessment for each of the witnesses. Unfortunately, the trial judge failed to provide any reasons why he chose to believe certain witnesses despite significant issues with their evidence. J.H. and the other co-accused were convicted.

Cory Wilson appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal arguing that the trial judge failed to provide any meaningful reasons and showed no path to conviction. The three-judge panel agreed with Cory and ordered a new trial. 

R v. N.N.

Result: Reduced Charge From Murder to Manslaughter.

N.N. was charged with first degree murder and offering an indignity to a body. The police theory was that the murder was a gangland hit and the post-murder beheading of the victim was to send a message to a rival gang. The case against N.N. was almost entirely circumstantial. N.N. pled not guilty and the matter was set for trial.

After an in-depth review of the disclosure, Cory and co-counsel, Derek of Jugnauth (Wolch Watts Wilson & Jugnauth), concluded that there was insufficient evidence to convict N.N. of first degree murder. There were significant gaps in the Crown’s theory that could not be remedied at trial. As a result of the significant issues discovered by Cory and Derek, the Crown agreed to reduce the charge to manslaughter on the day of trial.

R v. J.H.

Result: Reduced Charge From Murder to Manslaughter.

J.H. was charged with second degree murder after a shop-owner was repeatedly stabbed during a robbery. Despite high-definition video surveillance, identity of the perpetrators was unknown. Police undertook an extensive investigation using wire-tap, cell tower tracking and DNA analysis. As a result of the investigation, J.H. and another individual were arrested for the murder.

After reviewing the voluminous disclosure, Cory found significant issues with the Crown’s case. As a result, Cory was able to negotiate a resolution in which J.H. pled guilty to the reduced charge of manslaughter. The co-accused was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to life.

R v. C.C.

Result: Charges Dismissed. No Criminal Record.

C.C. was charged with aggravated assault after a child in her day home suffered a serious head injury. C.C. was detained and interviewed by police for over 8 hours. During this time, she asserted her right to silence on 24 occasions. The interviewing police officer used the Reid Technique which was designed to extract confessions. For over 8 hours, the officer subjected C.C. to a prolonged interview by engaging in lengthy monologues, constant interruptions and persistent questioning. At the end of the interview, C.C. confessed to throwing the child to the ground, causing him significant injury. Despite her confession, C.C. declared her innocence and the matter proceeded to a preliminary inquiry.

At the preliminary inquiry, the Crown sought to admit C.C.’s confession. Cory provided the trial judge with extensive written submissions detailing the significant issues with the officer’s use of the Reid Technique. In painstaking detail, Cory outlined how C.C.’s free will was overborne to the point she told the officer what she wanted to hear – a confession. The trial judge was directed to video of the “confession” in which C.C. can be seen shrugging and asking the officer if her description of throwing the child was correct. The judge, in a blistering decision, denounced the use of the Reid Technique in the strongest terms and found that C.C. did not confess on her own free will. The confession was excluded and without any other evidence of guilt, the charge against C.C. was dismissed.

R v. K.S.

Result: Charges Withdrawn. No Criminal Record.

K.S. was charged with second degree murder after his elderly wife passed away. Her death was a result of blunt force trauma caused by her falling down a steep staircase in the matrimonial home. There were no witnesses to the incident and the case against K.S. was purely circumstantial. One of the main pieces of circumstantial evidence was the suspicious behavior of K.S. prior to calling 9-1-1. K.S. removed both he and his wife’s clothes and put them in the washing machine. He then placed new clothes on himself and his wife. When police arrived at the residence, K.S. said he found his wife at the bottom of the stairs and changed her clothes to protect her dignity.

The autopsy found injuries consistent with falling down a steep flight of stairs. There was no evidence to support the Crown’s theory that K.S. pushed his wife down the stairs and washed the clothes to destroy evidence. As a result, the Crown withdrew the charges against K.S.

R v. D.S.

Result: Charges Withdrawn. No Criminal Record.

D.S. was charged with a number of offences including aggravated assault as a result of a stabbing that occurred outside of a bar. The victim of the stabbing nearly died from his wounds but fortunately made a full recovery. Video surveillance showed D.S. involved in an altercation inside the bar with a group of individuals including the victim. Witnesses reported that D.S. told the group that if he saw any of them outside the bar, he was going to kill them. Several hours later at closing time, the victim and two other men left the bar. The three men were approached by a man wielding a large knife. Two of the men were able to run away but the victim became trapped in the doorway of the now closed bar. Video surveillance captured the victim being stabbed several times, but the identity of the perpetrator was not clear. However, the clothes worn by the perpetrator were similar to that being worn by D.S. inside the bar.

After reviewing the disclosure, Cory found significant defects in the Crown’s case. While the clothing was similar to that being worn by D.S., this would not be enough to identify D.S. as the individual who stabbed the victim. After lengthy resolution discussions, the Crown withdrew the charges.

R v. J.M.

Result: Not Guilty of Major Offences.

J.M. was charged with a number of offences including aggravated assault, assault with weapon and unauthorized possession of multiple firearms. The charges stemmed from an incident that occurred on a rural property in which the complainant suffered a broken leg, broken ribs and a fractured skull. The firearms charges were the result of J.M. being found to have a number of firearms without a license. J.M. conceded the firearms charges and pled not guilty to all other charges.

During the lengthy trial, Cory cross-examined a number of witnesses as to their memory of the evening. Cory was able to establish that due to extreme intoxication, their version of events were simply unreliable. Cory was also able to establish that the complainant had little memory of many of the events of the evening due to his consumption of drugs and alcohol. Cory was also able to establish that the complainant’s broken leg was a result of his own actions when he attempted to jump over a fence. J.M. testified in his own defence and admitted to using a weapon to strike the complainant in the chest and head, causing the injuries. However, J.M. testified that he was acting in self-defence after the complainant flew into a violent rage, obtained a shotgun and began threatening to kill J.M.

The trial judge accepted J.M.’s evidence and found him not guilty of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. As a result of his admission to the firearms offences, the judge agreed with Cory and discharged J.M. which means he was left with no criminal record for this incident.

DISCLAIMER: Every criminal case is unique and every case has its own challenges.  Past acquittals, withdrawals, or other favourable results we achieved for our clients does not mean the same result can be obtained for present or future clients.