Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fate of accused teen killer in the jury's hands tonight

The fate of a teenaged boy accused of killing three people after he and another man allegedly walked into a house party and opened fire is now in the hands of a Winnipeg jury.
The youth was 15 when he was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder in connection to the March 2008 shootings in a home on Alexander Avenue in Winnipeg.
Now 17, the boy has been on trial since the Crown opened its case on Mar. 15. He cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The five-woman, seven-man jury began deliberations at about 3:30 p.m. CT Wednesday and will remain sequestered until they reach a verdict.
Scott Lavallee, 31, Corey Keeper, 22, and Jennifer Ward, 26, died from their injuries after being shot at the party. Three other people were wounded: two men, aged 19 and 29, and a 41-year-old woman. They survived the attack in which more than 19 shots were fired.
Another man, Colton Patchinose, 20, is charged with the same offences and is awaiting trial.
The Crown's case against the youth appears to hinge largely on the testimony of its star witness, Howard Roulette, 27.
Roulette testified that he and Patchinose were at the party but left after Patchinose had a discussion with another guest. He said he and Patchinose picked up the teen at a home and drove to the party under duress when one of the two accused held a gun to his head.
Patchinose and the teen left the car and shot up the party, the Crown alleges, then returned to the car and drove away.
Roulette was initially charged in connection with the shooting, but prosecutors dropped the charges after determining he was a witness.
At the trial, defence lawyer Ryan Rolston attacked Roulette's credibility in an effort to paint him as a liar.

Deliberations underway in trial of teen accused in deadly party attack
WINNIPEG - A jury is now weighing the fate of a Winnipeg teenager accused of killing three people and seriously injuring three others during a bloody ambush inside a house party.
The 17-year-old accused – who can’t be named because he was 15 at the time of the March 2008 attack – has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Jurors began deliberations just before 4 p.m. Wednesday and will remain sequestered until they reach a verdict.
The Crown’s case against the teen is based largely on the evidence of one key witness. Howard Roulette, 27, testified last week that he drove a getaway car from the shooting after the teenager and an adult co-accused, Colton Patchinose, held a gun to his head and told him to stay outside the Alexander Avenue home. He said the killers were seeking revenge for an earlier stabbing incident and believed one of the people involved was inside the home.
Scott Lavallee, 31, Jennifer Ward, 26, and Corey Keeper, 22, died after they were struck by some of the 19 bullets two masked shooters pumped into a crowd before taking off.
Defence lawyer Ryan Rolston told jurors in closing arguments Tuesday they should not convict his client because Roulette’s evidence is "unreliable." He suggested Roulette may have been the gunman and may have made up a story to avoid more trouble with the law.
"This man lied at every turn," Rolston said.
Police originally charged Roulette with the murders but quickly dropped all charges when they determined he was a witness. Roulette said he was never given any deal in exchange for his testimony.

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