Bail sought as conviction reviewed
Winnipeg man in prison for triple homicide since 1997
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.
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.