Mistrial request rejected for Leamington man convicted of murder
A judge has rejected a defence request for a mistrial for a Leamington man convicted of second degree murder.
Justice Kelly Gorman announced the decision in court on Monday.
Andrew Cowan, 45, was to be sentenced in November. Instead, his lawyer Patrick Ducharme, filed an application that claims his client was denied a fair trial for numerous reasons.
One of those reasons is an accusation of a close friendship between the Crown Attorney Tom Meehan and Justice Kelly Gorman, who presided over Cowan’s trial by jury.
Cowan’s lawyer Pat Ducharme accused Justice Gorman of creating an un-level playing field for his client.
“I’ve never even been aware of a judge doing anything along the lines of what I complained about today,” said Durcharme.
Regional crown counsel Michael Carnegie didn't focus his counter arguments on those actions or their relationship. Rather he said to the court “we are not here to point fingers and to shame this court into exceeding its jurisdiction.” Carnegie argued a jury verdict can only be overturned for legal reasons.
Cowan was found guilty on Aug. 23 in the death of 53-year-old Edward Witt.
He was killed after the truck he was in, driven by Cowan, struck a flower bed and became airborne before crashing into the second floor of a building in October of 2012.
Justice Gorman did not give reasons for rejecting the mistrial. She said they would be given to the crown an defence in written form.
Sentencing submissions for Cowan will begin on Tuesday.
The crown is asking for the minimum sentence of ten years of parole ineligibility.
Ducharme also confirms to CTV News that Cowan has already retained a Toronto lawyer that works exclusively with appeals.
CTV’s Michelle Maluske has details from court: