VANCOUVER — The B.C. Court of Appeal has rejected serial killer Robert Pickton’s appeal of six second-degree murder convictions.
The court has allowed a cross appeal by the Crown that could lead to a new trial on all 26 original counts of first degree murder.
However, the appeal court has set aside that decision as the Crown waits to see if Pickton’s defence team will take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Pickton’s defence challenged the six murder convictions, saying the judge made numerous mistakes in his final charge to the jury.
In a two to one decision, B.C. Appeal Court Justice Richard Low ruled the judge acted correctly in providing the jury with instructions on the concept of co-principal, or that Pickton may not have acted alone in the murders.
The court also ruled the judge did the right thing by amending his jury instructions six days into the jury’s deliberations.
In December 2007, the jury found Pickton guilty of six counts of second-degree murder and he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for killing Mona Wilson, Sereena Abotsway, Andrea Joesbury, Georgina Papin, Brenda Wolfe, and Marnie Frey.
Pickton’s lawyer Patrick McGowan said they’ll consider their options around going to the Supreme Court of Canada.
If the case doesn’t go to the high court, it’s unlikely the second trial will ever be held.
The Crown has already indicated that if Pickton’s verdict wasn’t overturned it wouldn’t go ahead with a second trial on the remaining 20 charges of murder originally laid against Pickton.
Pickton was arrested in February 2002, setting off a massive search of his property in Port Coquitlam, B.C., where investigators found body parts, blood samples, fragments of bone and the belongings of victims.
The Crown’s evidence was among the most grisly ever aired in a Canadian courtroom.