Digest: R v Petrin, 2018 SKCA 100

DateDecember 17, 2018

Reported as: 2018 SKCA 100

Docket Number: CA18098 , CACR 2869

Court: Court of Appeal

Date: 2018-12-17


  • Richards
  • Ottenbreit
  • Whitmore


  • Criminal Law � First Degree Murder � Conviction � Appeal

Digest: The appellant appealed his conviction for first degree murder (see: 2016 SKQB 363) and applied to adduce fresh evidence. The appellant had been a high-ranking member of the White Boy Posse, a gang involved in the drug trade in Alberta. When a member left the gang, the appellant advised other members that he was placing a $40,000 bounty on the man. He and some other members drove to Saskatoon from Edmonton when it was believed that the man had been located there. They went with the intention of killing him, but because they had the wrong address, they killed the resident of that address by accident. At trial, five members of the Posse testified for the Crown, one of whom had been convicted of first-degree murder for his role in the killing. The other witnesses had sold drugs for the appellant and had been involved to various degrees with carrying out the murder plan. The appellant argued on his application to adduce fresh evidence that his trial counsel had been unaware that payments had been made by the police to three of the witnesses and because of that, he had not cross-examined them. As a result, the trial judge�s assessment of the worth and credibility of their testimony was affected as was the fairness of the trial. With regard to his grounds of appeal, the appellant argued that the trial judge erred: 1) by failing to properly apply Vetrovec; 2) by failing to order third-party records from the Witness Protection Program (WPP) and failing to allow cross-examination of two witness on benefits they received under it; 3) by finding him guilty of first-degree murder on the basis that it was planned and deliberate and that the murder was committed for the benefit of a criminal organization; and 4) by unreasonably finding that he was guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, conflating evidence of planning and deliberation from another charge.
HELD: The court dismissed the application and the appeal. Respecting the application, it found that it did not meet the diligence test set out in Palmer as most of the evidence was actually known to counsel at trial. It was generally known that some witnesses had been paid money pursuant to the WPP. That evidence, taken with all the evidence at trial, would not

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