The appeal of two lovers convicted of conspiring to murder their respective spouses began Friday in Regina . Curtis Vey and Angela Nicholson were both sentenced to three years in prison in September 2016.
The key evidence was a recording captured by Vey’s wife on an iPod she planted in the kitchen when she suspected her husband of having an affair.
The duo were caught on tape discussing a murder plot.
In the appeal, Aaron Fox, Vey’s attorney, argued that there isn’t enough evidence to suggest his client actually agreed to the plan. It’s an essential element for a conspiracy charge that there be an agreement.
“Conspiracy is a complicated area of the law and we recognize that. But it is important — because the offence is so serious — that the judge get the law correct in his instructions to the jury. Our submission is simply that he did not,” Fox said.
Fox also raised concern about jury questions. He pointed to the possibility of confusion in their 30 hours of deliberations.
Fox added that one of the jurors asked a member of the sheriff’s office who to talk to about concerns after the verdict was read. It is unknown exactly what that concern was, but Fox said the judge should have investigated.
Crown prosecutor Bev Klatt said that concern would have been a discretionary measure that the judge would not necessarily have had to follow up on.
Klatt added that when polled, all the jurors said they considered both Vey and Nicholson guilty on all charges.
Nicholson’s attorney, Ron Piche, said one of the jurors was seen talking with a woman named Valerie Taylor who carried a negative opinion of his client. Piche said Taylor asked him “how he could represent someone like that.” Piche said this points to evidence of jury tampering.
Klatt countered that the jury had not be sequestered at that point, so jurors could have realistically run into anyone and talked about a variety of topics. The content of the discussion between the juror and Taylor is not known.
Klatt agreed with Fox that conspiracy law is complicated, but this is a simple conspiracy as there are only two individuals involved.
“The chief judge I think did a very good job of distilling the evidence for the jury, and making the law of conspiracy very easy for them to understand because it isn’t always easy to understand,” she said.
The three judge panel presiding over the hearing are reserving their decision and requested additional written submission from the defence in the next three weeks. Klatt will then have three weeks to respond.
Vey and Nicholson are out on bail. Their hearing will continue at a date yet to be determined.