Manitoba’s highest court has taken the rare step of reinstating a homicide case that had previously been thrown out of court.
Justin Parker, 25, was charged in the March 2011 stabbing death of 16-year-old Fletcher McDougall in Thompson. But he was cleared of manslaughter following a preliminary hearing last year after the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence linking him to the crime.
The Crown had a much different view of the case and filed an appeal. And in a decision released this week, Appeal Court Justice Michel Monnin ordered Parker to stand trial for manslaughter.
Monnin ruled the preliminary hearing judge "acted in excess of his assigned jurisdiction" in making findings about the case he shouldn’t have.
A court-ordered ban on the preliminary hearing prevents certain specific details from being published.
A co-accused, Pierre Bessette-Forcier, 25, has already been ordered to stand trial on the more serious charge of second-degree murder. He was the person who allegedly inflicted the fatal injury.
As well, a third accused, Joey Whiteway, 22, had his charges stayed by the Crown in exchange for agreeing to provide evidence.
McDougall was attacked outside an apartment building in Thompson. He had allegedly been trying to break into some parked vehicles when he was confronted by three men armed with a knife and pepper spray.
Parker is not expected to stand trial until the spring of 2015.