Senior Crown Counsel Make Recommendations Following Collapsed Murder Prosecution

The Canadian Press, October 27, 2018 | Go to article overview

Senior Crown Counsel Make Recommendations Following Collapsed Murder Prosecution


Recommendations released after murder trial halted

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VICTORIA - The B.C. Prosecution Service released 12 recommendations Friday following an internal investigation into how it handled a murder prosecution that ended with a stay of proceedings.

The review follows a lengthy court process to determine admissible evidence that B.C. Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson said was interrupted by "serious and extraordinary complications," including new information and allegations by defence lawyer Kevin McCullough of police misconduct.

The body of 28-year-old Kristy Morrey was found inside her Port Alberni home in 2006.

Court documents show Larry Darling, who was first cleared as a suspect, was charged with first-degree murder in 2015 following an undercover RCMP operation.

The operation is described in court documents as a "Mr. Big" sting that involved 109 scenarios between February and September 2015.

"The linchpin of the Crown's case was a statement made by Mr. Darling to the 'crime boss' near the end of the Mr. Big operation," the documents say.

As the court process unfolded to determine admissible evidence, documents show McCullough alleged repeated instances of the RCMP not providing the Crown with important information.

In December 2017, the judge said the failure on the part of the Crown to properly fulfil its disclosure obligations was rooted in it giving up control to the RCMP over decisions about relevance and privilege.

In a May 1 letter to McCullough, a new prosecutor appointed to the case said he was approached by Morrey's aunt, who said she had found a letter among Kristy's belongings describing the dynamic in her relationship with Darling in 2006.

"Mary went on to advise me that she had raised the existence of this document with a 'previous prosecutor.' She advised that the 'other prosecutor' had not seemed interested in receipt of the document and told Mary not to tell him about it because, 'if he knew about it he would have to disclose it,' " the letter says.

A publication ban was lifted on the letter in response to a request by the Vancouver Sun. …

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Senior Crown Counsel Make Recommendations Following Collapsed Murder Prosecution
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