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Crime

Conspiring to kill: When murder becomes more than just a thought

WATCH ABOVE: It’s not often charges of conspiracy to commit are laid in this province and proving the case could be one reason why. Meaghan Craig examines the issues as a trial currently underway in Saskatchewan prepares to wrap up.

The allegations were stunning especially in small town Saskatchewan.

“There was a suspicion of an extra-martial affair, they contacted us, an investigation was done,” said Cpl. Rob King with the Saskatchewan RCMP in August 2013 during an interview with Global News.

“Based on the evidence gathered during that investigation, there was reasonable probable cause to the lay the charge.”

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The charge was much more sinister than infidelity. Curtis Vey and Angela Nicholson each face two counts of conspiring to kill their spouses, Brigitte Vey and Jim Taylor.

READ MORE: Spouse murder plot trial continues in Prince Albert, Sask.

Now, in the second week of their two-week trial in Prince Albert, over a handful of witnesses have taken the stand.

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“In order for the Crown to prove this case there’s no question that they’ll need to prove more than simply idle chit chat or idle discussion they need to prove an actual agreement was made between these two individuals that they actually wanted to proceed with a common design at the end,” said criminal defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle.

And prove that murder was more than just a thought which is why conspiracy to commit murder cases aren’t that common.

“It’s preliminary crime typically and it would either be individuals that formulated a crime, an agreement then backed off from it and didn’t complete it,” said Pfefferle.

“Or that they did actually complete it and then we don’t have a conspiracy case, we have an actual murder case that we’re defending.”

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To catch an individual at that “in-between” stage, Pfefferle said police would need some evidence to begin the investigation, monitor the individuals and get wire-tap authorization to intercept the information.

“For the most part wire-tap investigations are the best way to prove a conspiracy.”

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On Tuesday, the first of three undercover officers took the stand to potentially confirm what was captured in a hidden recording by Brigitte Vey on July 1, 2013.

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A total of eleven witnesses are expected to take the stand, the only civilian to testify has been Brigitte Vey. The rest have been members of law enforcement and the undercover officers are protected by a publication ban.

If either accused is convicted, they could face a sentencing range of four years to life, according to Pfefferle. In recent cases across the country, double-digit penitentiary terms have been handed down as well as life in prison.

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