Saskatchewan’s top court dismisses Joshua Petrin’s appeal of murder conviction
An appeal by Joshua Petrin of his first-degree murder conviction has been dismissed by Saskatchewan’s highest court.
Petrin was convicted in November 2016 of killing Lorry Santos, who was shot dead in her Saskatoon home on the morning of Sept. 12, 2012.
During the trial, court heard Petrin ordered a hit against a former gang member who left the Alberta-based street gang known as the White Boy Posse without notice.
Through a series of miscommunications, two men were sent to the wrong address – killing Santos as a result.
Petrin was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole until 2037.
WATCH BELOW: Coverage of Joshua Petrin’s first-degree murder trial in the shooting death of Lorry Santos
In a decision released Dec. 18, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rejected the grounds raised by Petrin in his appeal.
One argument raised by Petrin was that the trial judge erred by failing to properly apply the principles found in Vetrovec on how to consider evidence from unreliable or untrustworthy witnesses.
Petrin argued in the appeal that the judge reversed the analysis by “first determining if the evidence of the witnesses could be relied on as being truthful rather than beginning with a degree of skepticism.”
He also argued the judge did not properly deal with contradictory evidence from those witnesses.
The appellate court said the judge conducted the Vetrovec analysis “with the necessary judicial skepticism,” and “took pains to identify many instances of confirmatory evidence of witnesses.”
The court also rejected Petrin’s arguments the killing was not planned and deliberate, was not a murder for hire, and was not committed for the benefit of a criminal organization.
“Whether the death of Ms. Santos occurred ‘pursuant to an arrangement’ was ultimately a question of fact looking at the evidence as a whole,” the court wrote.
“In this case, there was a prior arrangement to pay for the killing.”
The court also rejected Petrin’s request to adduce fresh evidence over payments made to three Crown witnesses.
Petrin is also serving a 20-year concurrent sentence for the 2008 shooting death of Mitchell Chambers and the 2012 death of Bryan Gower, who were both from Alberta.
With files from Meaghan Craig
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