Wit­nesses ‘not cred­i­ble’

P.E.I. Court of Ap­peal hears ar­gu­ment from lawyer for con­victed drug dealer

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE -

The lawyer for a P.E.I. man serv­ing 16 years in prison says his client’s rob­bery con­vic­tion was un­rea­son­able be­cause some of the wit­nesses were un­re­li­able.

Ja­son Nor­man Yeo wasn’t in court when his lawyer, Mikael Bernard, ar­gued on his be­half in the P.E.I. Court of Ap­peal in Char­lot­te­town for two cases.

Bernard said some of the wit­nesses needed to con­vict Yeo in con­nec­tion with the rob­bery were un­savoury and not cred­i­ble. Those wit­nesses in­cluded a man who was con­victed of per­jury in an­other case.

“Noth­ing he speaks of can be be­lieved,” Bernard said.

In 2014, Yeo was sen­tenced to nine years in prison for his in­volve­ment in plan­ning a vi­o­lent home in­va­sion in Emy­vale.

Later that year he was sen­tenced to an­other seven years for var­i­ous of­fences, in­clud­ing drug charges from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion the po­lice called “Op­er­a­tion Latte.”

Yeo was in a car with Chase James Roper, who sold a bag of co­caine to an un­der­cover po­lice of­fi­cer.

Crown at­tor­ney Ger­ald Quinn told the three ap­peal judges there was no ev­i­dence of col­lu­sion be­tween the wit­nesses in an at­tempt to con­vict an in­no­cent man.

Quinn also said the case didn’t rely on only one wit­ness for a con­vic­tion.

“This is not a he said, she said case.”

The ap­peal judges had to con­sider whether any rea­son­able judge or jury would have ar­rived at the same ver­dict, Quinn said.

“The an­swer to that has to be a re­sound­ing yes in this case.”

For the se­cond ap­peal on the drug charges, Yeo sought an ac­quit­tal or, in the al­ter­na­tive, a new trial.

Bernard ar­gued Yeo’s ac­tions in the car af­ter the drug trans­ac­tions showed he wasn’t aware a deal was go­ing to take place when he drove with Roper.

No in­fer­ence could be drawn that Yeo knew there would be a drug deal be­fore­hand, Bernard said. Yeo also ap­pealed his sen­tence with Bernard say­ing the to­tal of 16 years went against the prin­ci­ples of sen­tenc­ing. The com­bined sen­tence should be re­duced to 11 years, he said.

The judges will re­lease their de­ci­sions at a later date.

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