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This article was published 16/7/2009 (4245 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Now the Manitoba Court of Appeal has weighed in, saying Sinclair didn't get a fair trial, based on mistakes made by the judge. The court has overturned his manslaughter conviction, erased his sentence and ordered a new hearing.
"It would, in our opinion, be unsafe to let the verdict stand," the court said in a decision released Thursday.
The news wasn't as positive for Sinclair's co-accused.
Dallas Pruden-Wilson was convicted of the same charge and received the same jail term. The high court has ruled no mistakes were made and dismissed his appeals of conviction and sentence.
Adam Lecours, 34, died of massive injuries in the March 2005 incident. He was walking home from work in the Maples when the group of strangers, who had been partying at a nearby home, decided to "jump the white guy with the backpack" and rob him, court was told.
Pruden-Wilson, 22, and Sinclair, 23, were both found guilty following their trial in 2007. Beau Sanderson, who was 15 at the time of the killing, was also convicted for his role in Lecours' death and raised to adult court. He was given time in custody and probation.
The Lecours case made national headlines after Pruden-Wilson and Sinclair tried to reopen their case and point the finger of blame at a Good Samaritan who watched them beat their victim and called 911. Defence lawyers said the pair had been wrongfully convicted and filed a motion saying Simonsen didn't properly consider the actions or inaction of the witness.
Queen's Bench Justice Karen Simonsen ultimately rejected their arguments.
The appeal court said Thursday Simonsen "misapprehended" some evidence against Sinclair by finding he was definitely at the scene of the attack based on his prior contact with the co-accused. Sinclair's sole point of defence is that he never participated in the attack on Lecours.
Pruden-Wilson didn't dispute his involvement, but claimed he was wrongfully convicted because it was the car that killed Lecours, not him. The appeal court rejected his argument, saying the serious beating "was a significant contributing factor" in the slaying.
Lecours was the father of a young girl and described by loved ones as a quiet, hard-working man who hated violence.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.