Bail sought as con­vic­tion re­viewed

Winnipeg man in prison for triple homi­cide since 1997

Winnipeg Free Press - - CITY BUSINESS - KATIE MAY katie.may@freep­ress.mb.ca Twit­ter: @thatkatiemay

WHILE he waits for the fed­eral Jus­tice De­part­ment to de­cide whether he was wrong­fully con­victed of three slay­ings more than

20 years ago, a Winnipeg man has asked a Court of Queen’s Bench judge to re­lease him on bail.

Robert San­der­son, who is serv­ing a life sen­tence in Bri­tish Columbia for the

1996 triple mur­der, will have to wait be­fore he finds out whether he’ll be granted bail pend­ing a min­is­te­rial re­view of his case.

Jus­tice Shel­don Lanch­bery re­served his de­ci­sion Fri­day, and or­dered a pub­li­ca­tion ban on de­tails pre­sented at the bail hear­ing.

Nei­ther Crown at­tor­ney Mark Kan­tor nor de­fence lawyer James Lockyer re­quested a pub­li­ca­tion ban to cover de­tails of the 22-year-old case, which re­sulted in con­vic­tions for San­der­son and two other men in 1997.

One of those men later ap­pealed based on new ev­i­dence, had two re­tri­als and was ul­ti­mately ac­quit­ted.

Lanch­bery or­dered the pub­li­ca­tion ban af­ter San­der­son’s bail hear­ing be­gan Fri­day af­ter­noon, say­ing he wanted to ad­vise those tak­ing notes in the pub­lic gallery of the court­room that bail hear­ings have pub­li­ca­tion bans. Lockyer told the judge the de­fence wouldn’t nor­mally ask for a pub­li­ca­tion ban in this case, but the judge or­dered one any­way.

“I think un­der the cir­cum­stances we should, given the na­ture of the crime com­mit­ted in 1996 and there will be names used to­day of peo­ple who were in­volved in that par­tic­u­lar trial. I think it’s im­por­tant, so on my or­der that’s made,” Lanch­bery said.

The Crown is op­posed to San­der­son’s re­lease. A new date has not been set for Lanch­bery to de­liver his de­ci­sion on bail. The hear­ing had been sched­uled for Sept. 28, when San­der­son was brought to court in Winnipeg, but it was de­layed un­til Fri­day.

San­der­son’s fam­ily and sup­port­ers, who were in court to see him Fri­day and in late Septem­ber, de­clined to speak to re­porters.

A jury con­victed San­der­son of three counts of first-de­gree mur­der in the Aug. 6, 1996, stab­bing and shoot­ing deaths of Rus­sell Krowetz, Ste­fan Zurstegge and James Gross.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate the slay­ings of Rus­sell Krowetz, Ste­fan Zurstegge and James Gross in 1996. Robert San­der­son of Winnipeg is serv­ing a life sen­tence for the triple mur­der.

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