B.C. appeal court overturns Kelly Ellard's conviction

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B.C. appeal court overturns Kelly Ellard's conviction



Congratulations to the BC supreme court for releasing the nice little white Canadian kid. Sure she must have been innocent. Who cares about the death of one horrible Indian girl anyways? [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

Is there any one in the BC to demand justice for Reena?


CTV.ca News Staff

Updated: Fri. Sep. 5 2008 9:17 PM ET

A B.C. woman will face a fourth trial in the murder of a Victoria teenager after the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned her conviction.

At her third trial in 2005, a jury convicted Kelly Ellard of second-degree murder in the 1997 death of Reena Virk.

The case grabbed national headlines because a swarm of teenaged girls had set upon Virk, a troubled and unpopular teen, beating her up and leaving her under a bridge in a Victoria suburb.

In its 60-page decision released Friday, the court said inconsistent testimony and the trial judge's charge to the jury on how one witness's testimony should be handled were the main reasons.

"The history of this case suggests in light of the error, the verdict cannot stand safely," Justice Edward Chiasson wrote in concurrence with Justice David Frankel, who wrote on behalf of the court.

Ellard had been found guilty once only to have that verdict overturned on appeal. A second trial had ended in a hung jury.

The appeal court heard arguments over the third trial's verdict back in May.

Virk's parents said the latest court decision confirms that they have lost faith in the justice system.

Manjit Virk calls the latest decision a bad joke while Reena's mother said enough is enough.

"I think it's a waste of money and time and energy on everybody's part to go through this one more time," said Suman Virk.

Ellard's lawyer, Peter Wilson, argued that the jury based its conviction on evidence that was inconsistent at best and teenaged gossip and rumours at worst.

The Crown said the jury was fully aware of the poor credibility level of the witnesses and decided to convict.

The jury deliberated for five days before reaching its verdict.

Warren Glowatski was a key witness against Ellard. He was convicted in 1999 of second-degree murder for his role in Virk's death and received day parole last year.

He has testified that he and Ellard followed Virk after the first beating, assaulted her again, then dragged Virk to the water and put her head under.

When Virk regained consciousness, Ellard karate-chopped her in the throat, he said.

The defence claimed at the time that Glowatski was lying to cover up his own guilt.

Some of the other teens were convicted on assault-related charges.

A spokesperson for B.C.'s Crown prosecutor's officer said a decision will be made in the coming weeks on how to proceed. They must decide whether to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada, to proceed with yet another trial or to abandon the prosecution altogether.

Wilson said he has reservations about the prospect of a fourth trial.

"I have serious concerns about whether any coherent narrative can be obtained any longer from witnesses who, for the most part, were 13 and 14 years old and who witnessed these events 11 years ago and have been talking about it since," Wilson told The Canadian Press.

"After a while it's difficult for any of us to sort out what we truly remember from what we've heard and from what we've seen."

With a report from CTV Vancouver and files from The Canadian Press