EVIDENCE - Admissibility - Confessions and statements by the accused - Voluntariness - Cognitive capacity

Law360 Canada (May 4, 2023, 6:26 AM EDT) -- Appeal by Groves from her conviction and sentence imposed for second degree murder. Groves argued that the trial judge erred in finding that a statement made by her to a special constable in holding cells during a break in trial was voluntary and admissible. She also argued the judge erred in his charge by failing to instruct the jury on the two separate forms of accident. The victim, Mr. Mackenzie, was an acquaintance of the accused. While Groves was in MacKenzie’s apartment, she stabbed him causing his death. After killing MacKenzie, she left the apartment with items she stole. She later traded some of the items for crack cocaine which she shared with a fellow drug addict. There were no witnesses to the stabbing. At the beginning of her trial, Groves admitted to causing McKenzie’s death and pleaded not guilty to second degree murder but guilty to manslaughter. Her plea was rejected by the Crown. Groves was convicted by jury of second-degree murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment, without parole eligibility for 13 years. Groves sought to quash her conviction for murder and an order for a new trial. Should her conviction appeal fail, Groves argued the trial judge erred in imposing a sentence of 13 years’ parole ineligibility. She sought a reduction of parole ineligibility to 10 years....
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