Michael Bridges lost his first-degree murder appeal this afternoon
for the brutal killing of his ex-girlfriend Erin Chorney.That effectively closes the book (in the legal sense, anyways....more on that below) on one of the province's most memorable recent murder cases.It also means Bridges will now have to take his medicine in the form of a life sentence with no parole for at least 25 years. Well, unless he tries for the so-called "faint hope" clause after 15.To those of us who have followed this case closely, today's swift decision by the Manitoba Court of Appeal wasn't a shock.The fact is, the RCMP should be commended for the outstanding job they did in bringing some closure to a grieving family and justice to a cold-blooded killer.Queen's Bench Justice John Menzies - one of the best judges in Manitoba - said as much at trial when he refused to throw out the sting operation evidence on the grounds it violated Bridges' rights and tricked him into a bogus confession.And today, the Manitoba Court of Appeal gave their seal of approval as well by finding the first-degree verdict reached by jurors was correct.Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky just finished telling reporters outside the downtown Law Courts complex that he believes sting operations like the one that trapped his client "ought to be outlawed". He said they are dishonest and deceitful and lead to wrongful convictions.You think the Chorney family feels that way? Not a chance.
After all, they would likely still be wondering what happened to their beloved Erin if not for the work of undercover police agents. And Michael Bridges would still be walking among us, living with the dirty little secret of what he'd done to a young woman with her whole life ahead of her.Choking her unconscious. Strangling her with an extension cord. Drowning her in a bathtub. Cleaning her lifeless body. And then sticking it in someone else's grave with the thought the truth would stay buried forever.Anyone out there feel an "injustice" has been done in this case????As some of you may know, I've been studying this case a little more closely than others as I've plugged away this year at my upcoming book. I've had tremendous co-operation from the Chorney family and police and am very excited about the detailed story I've been able to tell.
The final result is set to be released next month. TO THE GRAVE: INSIDE A SPECTACULAR RCMP STING will be launched in Brandon on Nov. 9 (at Penniwise Books, 7 p.m.) and Winnipeg Nov. 16 (Chapters Polo Park, 7 p.m.).I'll post more information in the coming days on the launches and a bunch of book signings I'll be doing in Winnipeg, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon and Calgary in November and December, including dates and times.You can also read more on this book, or my first two true crime books, under the Mike In Books link on my website
.Meanwhile, have a great (and safe) Thanksgiving weekend!