Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear appeal in the murder case against William Sandeson

William Sandeson arrives for the start of his preliminary hearing at provincial court in Halifax on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the appeal to hear the case of William Sandeson, who was found guilty of first-degree murder in the August 2015 death of fellow Dalhousie University student Taylor Samson and later had his conviction overturned.

The Crown made the appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in early November of 2020.

The NS Public Prosecution Service said in an email to Global News that “the Supreme Court of Canada only grants leave to a very small percentage of applications it receives (approximately six to 10 per cent), but today’s decision is disappointing none-the-less.”

Read more: Crown seeks Supreme Court of Canada appeal of William Sandeson murder conviction

Sandeson, 28, was found guilty of the murder charge in 2017, but the conviction was overturned in June 2020 after the Court of Appeal found that a mistrial should have been granted. Sandeson has been in custody since Aug. 18, 2015.

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The appellate court ruled there should have been a mistrial after it was found that a private detective for the defence gave critical information to the police about evidence.

In the decision, Justice David Farrar said the trial judge “erred in failing to consider whether the undisclosed evidence impacted the ability of the defence to bring process-oriented responses such as Charter challenges.”

In January, Sandeson asked for bail pending the retrial, but that request was denied.

Click to play video: 'Judge denies bail to William Sandeson as he awaits murder retrial'
Judge denies bail to William Sandeson as he awaits murder retrial

No reasons for dismissing the appeal application were given by the Supreme Court of Canada.

According to Melissa Foshay, the communication advisor at Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, the next step would be to schedule the trial, which has yet to be rescheduled.

In the meantime, Foshay said Sandeson is scheduled to appear for an “application regarding a case conference” on April 30.


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